Experts claim that the frequent exposure to shootings of Black people could bring about PTSD-like mental health issues.
Graphic video footages of police-involved-shootings of Black men have circulated in the media for the past few years, following several cases of police brutality on Blacks. The final moments of Terence Crutcher, who was shot and killed by a police officer, despite following orders, were caught on tape and have been played over and over on various social media platforms as people have found it disturbing and struggled to understand the shooting of an innocent Black man.
Videos of police shootings of Black people go viral once released and the effects they have on viewers could be damaging. Images and videos of Black victims of police shootings are all over the internet. For example, the shooting of Alton Sterling in Baton Rouge was caught on video and it nearly broke the internet;Philando Castile’s bloody shooting aftermath was streamed live on Facebook by his girlfriend and the record of the shooting of the unarmed behavioral therapist, Charles Kinsey shook the internet.
The circulation of these images of unlawful violence and death all over the internet has led to some people avoiding social media for a while. Medical experts have stated that unplugging one’s self from social media isn’t a bad idea, after all, following researchers’ reports saying that that the frequent exposure to videos and images of the shootings of Black people could lead to serious long-lasting mental health issues in African-Americans.
Monica Williams, a clinical psychologist and the director of the Center for Mental Health Disparities at the University of Louisville, stated that the exposure to these violent images, videos and live experiences of racism can cause PTSD-like trauma and severe mental problems.
“There’s a heightened sense of fear and anxiety when you feel like you can’t trust the people who’ve been put in charge to keep you safe,” Williams said. “Instead, you see them killing people who look like you. Combined with the everyday instances of racism, like micro-aggressions and discrimination, that contributes to a sense of alienation and isolation. It’s race-based trauma.”
It could be said that most of these videos are released in order to bring light to some cases but, unfortunately, video recordings of the horrible deeds of some men can be dangerous to others. Police brutal killings are a plague in our country,and like cancer, there seems to be no remedy except for extensive surgery, which will let Black people sleep well and tight again.