If They Gunned Me Down

If They Gunned Me Down

Part of a series on Michael Brown's Death. [View Related Entries]

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#IfIWasGunnedDown is a Twitter hashtag campaign started in light of the death of Mike Brown, an unarmed African American teenager fatally shot by police. After a news station used a picture of Brown which could be perceived as negative African American Twitter users tweeted out two pictures of themselves, one with positive connotations and one with negative using the hashtag to suggest the negative photo would be used in news reports if they were killed.


On August 10th, 2014, Twitter user CJ_musick_lawya[2] introduced the hashtag #IfTheyGunnedMeDown,[3] which African American twitter users can use to post to pictures of themselves, one featuring a very positive, accomplished image and one that could be perceived as negative based on negative racial stereotypes. The hashtag implies if they were killed, news coverage would use the negative image to report on their death.

YoungGifted&Black @cJ_musick_lawya Follow Yes let's do that: Which photo does the media use if the police shot me down? #lfTheyGunnedMeDown わReply Retweet ★ Favorite More RETWEETS FAVORITES 1,994 1,075 2:34 PM-10 Aug 2014 Flag media

The hashtag was meant to criticize a picture of Mike Brown, the African American teenager who was shot and killed by police on August 9th, in Ferguson, Missouri, NBC News tweeted[4] earlier on August 10th, which seems to portray Brown negatively based on racial stereotypes.

NBC News& @NBCNews 塩Follow NBC NEWS Unarmed Missouri teen killed by officer after 'physical confrontation' nbcnews.to/XaZEd Reply Retweet ★ Favorite More RETWEETS FAVORITES 552 97 :04 PM-10 Aug 2014 Flag media

CJ_musick_lawya's original tweet gained over 1,000 retweets within 24 hours, and the hashtag[1] was retweeted out over 110,000 times.

Notable Developments

Within three days the hashtag[6] was tweeted out over 180,000 times. On August 11th, the Tumblr blog iftheygunnedmedown[5] was created.

Media Coverage

On August 11th, the LA Times[8] published an article titled "#IfTheyGunnedMeDown ponders portrayal of minorities killed by police" which featured a roundup of tweets using the hashtag. The hashtag was covered by several other sites the same day including The Huffington Post[9] and TIME Magazine.[10] On August 12th, the New York Times[11] published an article titled "Shooting Spurs Hashtag Effort on Stereotypes" which cites one Twitter user attributing the popularity of the hashtag to black twitter.

Notable Examples

塩Follow @RDECKZR the best hashtag twitter's ever had. "@._. TrillClinton: #lfTheyGunnedMeDown what picture would they use pic.twitter.com/uuqJhi6FxL" Reply t. Retweet ★ Favorite More RETWEETSFAVORITES 140 10:29 AM-11 Aug 2014 Flag media Not The Rapper @iTalk2Slick Follow #lfTheyGunnedMeDown I'm absolutely certain I know which pic they would use. Reply Retweet ★ Favorite More RETWEETSFAVORITES 13 41溘 10鮤髁 9:16 AM-11 Aug 2014 Flag media Brie Nurse Follow @BriannaChevonne #IfTheyGunnedMeDown what young black girl would they see pic.twitter.com/NWx9MYfHOs Reply Retweet ★ Favorite More RETWEETS FAVORITES 314 12:23 AM-11 Aug 2014 Flag media Lance Tejada II @CantGuardL Follow Which picture would you use #lfTheyGunnedMeDown #Justice Reply t3 Retweet ★ Favorite More RETWEETSFAVORITES 6 6 12:25 PM-13 Aug 2014 Flag media Follow @ZelThaGreat #lfTheyGunnedMeDown would the media use my pasi: againsime when I've don nothing but strive to be better black man? Reply Retweet ★ Favorite More 郄 RETWEETS FAVORITES Smoke from da v.i @Smokeee_VI * 塩Follow #lfTheyGunnedMeDown which picture would the news use? pic.twitter.com/L9VCbGG65Z Reply t. Retweet ★ Favorite More RETWEETSFAVORITES 250195 10:32 PM-10 Aug 2014 Flag media

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