Stop Showing Those Videos

I am writing this in opposition to an op-ed…..

Allissa Richardson writing for Vox stating that we need to stop showing the videos of killings of black/brown people by the police……

Allissa Richardson once thought videos showing police brutality would bring justice. Proving to everyone what people of color encounter with police would bring change. Richardson has changed her mind, she writes in an essay on Vox, after repeatedly seeing George Floyd die on television. The practice invites a victim’s last moments to be broken down by the public and a jury, then preserved online for viewing anytime, often without the family’s consent. Now she wonders why it ever seemed necessary to document the killings. “Why were Black and brown people forced to pre-litigate their own murder trials in this way?” she writes. “Why was it necessary to form a counternarrative to the old stereotype of Black and brown folks’ criminality? Why did we ever need to produce a parallel storyline to an official police report?”

The practice only reinforces white supremacy, Richardson writes, reminding everyone of the protections police officers are afforded and the fate of people of color who object to this social order. She calls for suspending the airing of the videos online and on TV unless the family agrees they can be shown. That could prompt journalists to look into the systemic issues leading to the deaths instead of the exact second when a 13-year-old about to be killed dropped a gun. If we believe people of color, we can eliminate the “need to play this game of video empathy before justice,” says Richardson, who teaches journalism at USC. “We have enough proof,” she writes. “We have enough pain. What we don’t have is reform.” You can read the full piece here.

As I stated in the beginning…..I disagree with the premise…..

I do not think that the outcome would have been the same without the video.

I will agree that the MSM does have a tendency to beat the viewer about the head with them…..and until there is more accountability for the violence and death committed by the police the videos are needed.

I would love your thoughts.

Turn The Page!

I Read, I Write, You Know

“lego ergo scribo”

12 thoughts on “Stop Showing Those Videos

  1. My feeling is that the videos should only be shown in court, during the trial. Nobody can expect anything resembling a ‘fair trial’ when the ‘evidence’ is broadcast on TV fifty times a day long before anyone is even charged with the murder. If we are going to accept ‘trial by video’, I worry that will be a slippery slope.
    Best wishes, Pete.

  2. If we had a perfect world, showing the video would be obscene. However, living in the world we have, the grater obscenity is the abuse that black and brown skinned people suffer at the hands of the police.

  3. The writer of the article has several good points.
    Why show those videos time and again.
    It will shock the first time, but repeating time and again, with often accompanied with the same (sensational) comments.

    It will desensative people.
    Like all those mall-, school- office shootings do.
    Thoughts and prayers and over to the order of the day. No step nearer to effective gunlaw.

    Families of a victim should must have a say if/what is shown on TV.
    But also have the right to prohibited broadcast.

    Fair trial of the person accused.
    If you like it or not it’s an important part of the justice system.

    It says a lot of American society that a nipple shown on TV gets everybody hysterical and turns a president into action.
    The peeps when someone swears, or says a naughty word.
    Taping off some human parts.

    It’s hypocrite!

    I know that police brutality is and has been something going on a long time.

    The writer of the article is right in her assessment that the country as a whole should look at what lies behind the violence.

    The courses of policeviolence, why those overkill actions of policemen in situations that just need a simple desensativing conversation

    1. I agree but as I keep saying without the videos we would know nothing of the brutality every day….so they are necessary just not endless loop. chuq

  4. Every unnatural death is a failure of society in some form. This is the pure morality of it all. A person killed in a drug war has social reasoning as much as a cop shooting in the carrying out their duty on the streets of America. The same with our military deployed in the various trouble spots of the world who kill someone called “the enemy”. Any unnatural death represents a failure in social structure… down to accidental deaths. Now, this doesn’t mean in the least that we all have to act on the extended reasons and/or causes for a person’s unnatural demise in all cases, nor does it mean we ignore direct responsibility for a person’s death. Take the recent Columbus, Ohio officer shooting the black teenage girl with the knife. Forget “justification”, the moral responsibility rests with the cop who pulled the trigger and killed the girl. Yet it’s being alleged that the cop saved the life of at least another by his action. But the knife-wielding girl’s actions which allegedly led to the cop taking this action is part of a greater social question, perhaps in addressing mental health, perhaps some economic disadvantage, the list could be endless. On the other hand.. from the body cam it seemed the cop was close enough to maybe shoot the female assailant in the leg or engage in other non-lethal action. Taser perhaps? While body cams tend to promote armchair second guessing of police, those images nonetheless remind the rest of us in our armchairs that we do not live in some social vacuum created by Hollywood that if bad guys die it’s because they were bad guys. You’ve likely seen those WW2 photos from the South Pacific of bloated dead Marines bobbing about in the waters around Tarawa or Peleliu. Roosevelt initially kept those images from the public for fear that someone might see a dead loved one, or more to the point, becoming so incensed with the tragic loss of life to the point that people would lose focus on staying the course in winning the war. After having worked in the funeral industry I have come to the realization that it’s a Western “thing” thing to turn the other way regarding death. Yeah, we know it exists but let’s not dwell on it too much… and we certainly don’t need in-your-face imagery.. right? I firmly disagree. The in-your-face should be a reminder that things… death… happen for a reason, and if you are ok with the death.. then that becomes the price to pay for the social acceptance.

    1. My problem is that the gun is their first response……apparently they are no longer instructed on how to defuse a situation without a gun…..there is the failure and the culture of the police which illustrates they believe they are always in the right. I agree there is a failure but it falls with the police not the society at large. chuq

      1. I think what you are suggesting is that a cop shooting/killing does indeed have a social responsibility in that cops need to be “re-trained”. Today’s DOJ announcement about a civil investigation into the Minn. Police is a social reaction that goes above and beyond the direct responsibility for a death by cop. I see it more 3 dimensionally… be we are together in the same point. The cop killed.. so why did he/she kill? That’s determined by application of justice. What situations led to it all? That’s a social issue. Body cams help expose that which we’d never see. Images of actual death.. repeated over and over? I think we collectively can admit that the George Floyd death scene was a very rare, but very real, event. Part of the shock is that so many people, other officers, the public, just permitted it to happen… under a socially imprinted assumption that “it’s the police… what am I going to do?” The collective shock & awe was equally about Floyd’s death as much as people feeling powerless to intervene… yet everyone is taking video. If this was between two guys on the street an intervention would have been more likely.

      2. I understand the reticence to help…especially if one is of a color that police do not respect. It depends for I do not trust the cops to act responsibly anymore…..this is not 1960 when cops were respected by the community. “Protect and Serve” is a joke. chuq

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