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FBI Sees Error as a Black and White Issue, Makes It Gray

July 08, 1986|United Press International

WASHINGTON — The FBI, concerned that an artist's "innocent mistake" would be misinterpreted, ordered the reprinting of a special agency bulletin on rape that had depicted a black male hand grasping a slender white female arm on the cover, a spokesman said today.

The Law Enforcement Bulletin is distributed to FBI and law enforcement agencies throughout the country.

Ray McElhaney said the FBI ordered the entire batch of the bulletins destroyed after an internal review decided the cover "was potentially offensive."

McElhaney said he did not know how many of the bulletins had been printed and said the cost of printing a "normal batch" would run about $14,500.

He said the original copies were shredded.

McElhaney said the original cover "was not to depict black and white, but was done for maximum printing contrast. It was an innocent error by the artist and we caught it and corrected it."

McElhaney said the new cover depicts an off-white, neutral version of the original.

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