Did CNN intentionally alter a photo of Fort Lauderdale terror suspect Esteban Santiago?

As social media users compare the original image with one used by the cable news outlet, that’s the allegation being made tonight.

Santiago is accused of killing five and wounding eight people at Fort Lauderdale airport Friday, opening fire inside the baggage claim area after retrieving a gun that was apparently checked with his luggage.

In their coverage of the attack, CNN tweeted a photo of Santiago that had been inexplicably converted to black and white, as opposed to the color version circulating everywhere else. Twitter users in large numbers have complained that their altered version significantly lightened Santiago’s skin tone.

Also raising social media objections: a one-finger salute associated with ISIS is cropped out of the network’s version.

Via American Commitment President Phil Kerpen, a widely-retweeted comparison of the two:

cnn-santiago-tweet

Regardless of one’s interpretation, the larger question remains: why didn’t CNN simply use the original photo? Why alter it in any way?

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