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Whoops! MSNBC Runs Photo of Native Americans as ‘Immigrants’

No, this is not another story about the Bering Strait Theory and those right-winged nut jobs who claim Native Americans are immigrants.

On Thursday, MSNBC ran a story that criticized the hosts of Fox & Friends for suggesting that undocumented persons who call 911 during emergency situations are a burden on police and emergency response teams.

There was only one problem: the lead photo of the MSNBC story was of two Oglala Lakota children dwarfed by a police officer.

Thursday’s story, posted to MSNBC show host Rachel Maddow's Facebook page, caught the interest of Native American Facebook users who follow Maddow's feed and reported the gaffe.

The photo of the two Oglala Lakota children originally ran in May with an MSNBC story about rampant crime on the Pine Ridge reservation. The caption on the photo does not identify the children as Oglala Lakota, but the police officer in the photo is identified in the story as Officer Becky Sotherland, who patrols the Pine Ridge reservation.

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Courtesy Stephenie Ochoa

Choctaw Nation Forestry Department Prevention Tech, Joshua Bates.

ICTMN contacted MSNBC producer Steve Benen, who wrote Thursday’s story, and inquired why that particular photo was used. Benen noticed it was an oversight and quickly replaced the photo with another stock image of a police officer before swapping that image out with a screenshot of Fox & Friends host Brian Kilmeade.

“I’ve swapped out the images, replacing it with a better photo. I appreciate the heads-up,” Benen tweeted.

Chalk this one up to the diligence and swift action of Native American social media users.