Communications Around Shootings

Obama FB Police ShootingsMore police shootings this week led to a peaceful protest in Dallas until a sniper killed five police officers, wounded seven more, and wounded two civilians. Videos and messages are shaping our understanding of the incidents and our perspective on how to solve the problem of ongoing violence.

Diamond (Lavish) Reynolds posted a video after her boyfriend, Philando Castile, was shot in a car in St. Paul, Minnesota. The video, viewed more than 5 million times, is graphic, showing the man dying while Reynolds narrates. 

In a statement, Minnesota Governor Mark Dayton asked for a full investigation of the incident. 

Another graphic video this week showed police shooting Alton Sterling in Baton Rouge, LA. The FBI has opened an investigation of this incident.  

President Obama made a statement on Facebook and in video. After expressing condolences, he gave data showing "disparities in how African-Americans and Latinos are treated."

Today's New York Post's cover reads, "Civil War," and people aren't happy about it. One Twitter user called it "insanely irresponsible."

Discussion Starters: 

  • Assess President Obama's statements. What else is there to say? 
  • What's your reaction to the graphic videos (of course, you don't need to watch them-I could take only about a minute. In what ways do the videos help and hurt the victims and their families? 
  • What's your view of the New York Post front page? What are the dangers of this headline?