CNN has denied claims
by conservative websites that a photo of Chris Harper-Mercer, the man who shot and killed nine people at Umpqua Community College in Oregon last week, was altered to make him appear white. But a report on his mother, who is black, used footage of white hands to illustrate her making web postings on Tuesday.
Laurel Harper is a nurse and gun enthusiast who has an account on Yahoo! Answers under the name "Tweety Bird." She has answered questions on various topics over the years, mostly on medical issues, but a few on guns.
A CNN report aired Tuesday on CNN's "The Lead with Jake Tapper"
noted there are "new questions whether the mother of the Oregon shooter … shares at least some of the responsibility for the tragedy."
She also discussed having a son who knew about guns and who had Asperger syndrome like herself. CNN mentioned that the shooter had Asperger, but noted that the condition is not associated with violence.
During the report discussing Harper's posts to the website, two different times close-ups of women's hands are shown typing at a computer keyboard. Both times, the footage used appear to be the hands of white women.
No photo is shown of Harper, though video of the shooter's father, Ian Mercer, is shown talking to the media. Mercer is white.
A story on the shooter's mother on CNN's website
did not include the B-roll footage of the hands.
The website Conservative Treehouse
posted two photos of the shooter, one with his skin appearing more white and his features altered. They said CNN broadcasted the altered version, but CNN's Brian Stelter denied that in a tweet.
The website has since noted that CNN denies it aired the photo and admitted it got the side-by-side from a tweet.
also posted the side-by-side and wrote that "the race of Mercer does not fit the narrative that only white males — and thus white supremacist — can be mass shooters."
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