To show the video or not?

Kid Gloves
by FLO
The Rule of Thirds

Last Tuesday, I witnessed a 16 year old kid at the moment when he was shot and killed.

Let me start at the beginning.

That day started like any other. Woke up late, rushed to get into work on time at 9 a.m. Arrived at work, got my gear together and loaded up in my car. The parties that be and myself had a little meeting to figure out what we would cover for the day. I got stuck with court duty. One of my least favorite assignments. A trial isn’t as exciting as it’s portrayed on “Law & Order”. In the real world, they’re boring and monotonous. A lesson in frivolity. Anyway, I headed down to the courthouse and set up my record deck. In bigger trials the judge sets up a “pool” camera. One guy, with one camera is set up in the courtroom while all the stations pack into a tiny “media room” and record on what the camera is displaying.  On most days that I have to do this, it isn’t as interesting as it sounds.  Tuesday was different.

The trial is for a 16 year old kid named Giovanni Casper.  He’s accused of fatally shooting another 16 year old kid, Kenneth Dear at a roller rink.  These cases are usually open and shut.  This one isn’t any different.  What is different about this case though is that there is a video of the murder.  Some woman was at the roller rink that night, shooting video for a public access TV show.  When a fight broke out she recorded that altercation to the point after the teenager was shot and killed.  This video was played in court, for the benefit of the jury.

One would think think that witnessing that video would be a terrible and life changing event.  Well, it isn’t.  The feelings that came to me when I saw it was more shock.  Sock at how ungraphic it was.  Instead of hyper-violence, you get a pop, some smoke, and a kid clutching his stomach and falling to the ground.  Is that terrible?  Sure, you witness a young life getting snuffed out.  But in no way is the video graphic.  I’ve seen worse at my local multiplex.

After court adjourned came the moment of truth.  To show the video on the air or to not?  Closed door meetings with the boss are never pleasant, even under the auspices of pleasantry.  My reporter and I, along with a couple of other choice people viewed the video and attempted to come up with a decision.  My reporter wanted to show it, as did I. —>

Explore posts in the same categories: citizen journalism, PEG access TV, public access television

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