SACRAMENTO (CBS13) — Nearly a week after the issue hit stands, the Sacramento NAACP is calling a recent cover of the Sacramento News & Review racist, and is demanding an apology.

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The image depicts Sacramento Mayor Kevin Johnson reading the weekly newspaper with the headline “K.J. Sues SN&R” with a furrowed brow and two beads of sweat coming from his forehead.



The cover in the image refers to the newspaper’s story about its current legal battle with the mayor’s office over the release of emails Johnson’s lawyers say are protected by attorney-client privilege. The city recently authorized the release of thousands of emails from Johnson, some of which detail a plan to take over the leadership of the National Conference of Black Mayors.

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The lawsuit placed the mayor in a compromised position, forcing him to file action against the newspaper as well as the city he leads.

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In a press release on Tuesday, the NAACP condemned the cover, saying the image showed “the Mayor with a crazed and violent look.” The group claims it’s an example of “racially biased news coverage” that “leads to the stereotypical perception of African-American males.”

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SN&R co-editor Nick Miller disputed the NAACP’s claims in a statement, saying the illustrations were based on an actual photo of the mayor and it was intended to depict him as “sweaty and nervous” while reading about his legal issues. He called the accusations “unfounded and without merit,” pointing to the newspaper’s history of supporting the NAACP’s mission.