Graphic, 2015 –
In December 2015, Nicholas Robertson was shot thirty-three times by two L.A. sheriff deputies. A bystander happened to take a video.
Around the same time, two different bystander videos came out of the shooting death of Mario Woods by the San Francisco Police Department.
In that same week, we found out that a grand jury was going to indict one of the police officers involved in the Laquan McDonald shooting. One publication posted that story on its Twitter with a GIF of the shooting video.
These are the circumstances that gave birth to this project. Everyday, we are confronted with images of Black pain, Black suffering and Black Death. There is a certain insensitivity involved in the way these images are spread and shared, the way these images are put on auto play on various sites. I am still baffled that I am expected to live with such traumatic images on my timeline, and see them, and experience them. I am angry about the flippant way such images are treated by the media when black bodies – and colored bodies in general – are involved.
I am equally angry that these images are necessary for some people to believe Black Americans’ experiences of police brutality.
Graphic is a censoring of such images, while still documenting the horrific actions that make them possible and necessary. I believe we do not need to see these images to know something has happened that deserves our attention. It is only fair to point out I have not watched most of these videos because of this belief.
Each video is the same length as the video it replaces.