In this age of social media, all our issues as a society finds their way to those pages. None more poignant than the eroding relationship of everyday American citizens and police commissioned to protect and serve them. Before social media the following events may not have even made the evening news without corresponding video footage. However, now every person with a cellphone is a potential witness, willing to share the footage with the world; at the push of a few buttons. Presented with these images, we have to ask ourselves a few obvious questions: Why does it matter that a man selling loose cigarettes on the street is detained and asphyxiated to death in plain sight of the public? The death of Eric Garner July 17, 2014 highlighted the sentiment of the public and sparked the ‘#I can’t breathe’ all over social media. Why does it matter that unarmed teenagers are gunned down in the streets by policemen? This is police brutality at its worst. In the case of Michael Brown shot and killed by patrolman Darren Wilson, in Ferguson, Missouri August 9, 2014; the failed indictment of the officer sparked a summer filled with riots and protests. Discord quickly spread across the country via social media. Then, actual people began to show up, on the scene and throughout the city of Ferguson. Why does it matter that policemen are ambushed and slain while on duty? “I will put wings on pigs today.” Were the words Ismaael Brinsley posted on Instagram, before he attacked officers Wenjian Liu and Rafeal Ramos, while they sat in their patrol car, December 21, 2014. It all matters because, all lives matter.
Eric Garner, was suspected of selling loose cigarettes on the street corner in Staten Island,NY. When confronted by police,...
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...(Hench, D) According to witnesses that were nearby, he shot them in cold blood. (Swift, J.) He then fled to the subway, where he took his own life.
Social Media was the platform that sparked the summer of unrest that swept across the country in 2014. All the #hashtags, all the images and posts that flooded social media all culminated in the mind of one sick individual. Brinsley had a history of mental health, fueled by the fire that raged on social media. Social media effectively pitted everyday American citizens with the people commissioned to protect and serve them. At the funerals of the two officers, Vice President Joe said in their eulogy “"When an assassin 's bullet targeted two officers, it targeted this city and it touched the soul of an entire nation. We must do better as a society in this age of social media. Because at the end of the day all lives matter.
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