source: The Guardian
published: 15 July 2016
The names and faces are different; the cities and departments involved, too. Ultimately, though, the videos all depict the same thing: death of black people at the hands of law enforcement.
And just as the emergence of another video sometimes feels inevitable, so, too, does the debate over whether to publish and share these images, and whether to watch them. These conversations often rest on notions of trauma, triggers and the ethics of posting and sharing videos that on the one hand might spur action, and on the other might be harmful for people to view.
It shouldn’t be surprising, then, that after last week’s high-profile police killings of Alton Sterling and Philando Castile reignited national outrage and protest over these killings with graphic viral video evidence that the dialogue started anew.
One thing there is little debate around is that these images and videos are traumatic. “They really are,” said Judith Alpert, a professor of applied psychology at New York University. Pointing to research done on trauma after 9/11 Alpert added: “There’s no question that you can be traumatized by what you’re seeing on television.”