Cop vs 18 yr old girl

During class today we watched the video of a cop aggressively pulling a girl off a train and reprimanding her after she was being insubordinate to the cop’s demands.  Who was truly in the wrong?  The cop certainly could have handled the situation more professionally with a level head, without aggression.  However, if the girl had immediately listened to the cop when asked to put her feet down, all would have been avoided.  Yet Americans view a video like this and their first reaction is to feel symapthy and remorse for the girl, as she is immediately viewed as the victim.  The cop, being a white male, committing acts of aggression towards a minority, is automatically viewed as the villain. Even if this is true (which very well may be the case) there is still alot about the situation that we do not know and can’t necesarily judge.

With viral videos, individuals do not begin to record until events escalate.  But what lead to the escalation that has people turning their heads? With the beginning left out,  it leaves the rest of the story open for interpretation based on how the events played out through the video.  Without the entire story, it truly is difficult to “assume” who really is in the wrong, although obvious video evidence may tell us otherwise.  The way we frame certain photos and videos can set the tone for whole story, and can skew our perception.  The captions at the bottom of the video could have been produced by somebody with bias and they have the ability to sway the opinion of the viewer.  Although we want to immediately say the cop is corrupt and the girl is the victim, we really just don’t know the entire series of events that occurred leading up to the incident, or anything else that may have occurred that the video missed.

The media has such a strong influence on how we percieve our external environment, and causes many to “assume” and make generalizations.  It also has the ability to skew the reality we percieve or think we percieve.    I say that you really don’t know the full story unless you were there.

Blake Hagerman


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