“For many elders, watching Black neighborhoods go to war with one another was devastating. Some saw it as a grotesque outgrowth of generations of trauma, this time fueled by tribalism, PTSD, and self-hatred.”
As a scholar who researches media coverage of police and protests, I believe Toledo’s death exposes a blind spot in journalism: a tendency to go with the “police said” narrative without outwardly questioning if it is right.
How do we reimagine the work of reducing poverty, supporting mental health services, and dealing with trauma to minimize substance abuse and violence, in order to diminish the need for police to step in as an end to those consequences?
Danielle Kilgo is a researcher now based at the University of Minnesota focused on how media contributes to uneven power dynamics and diversity issues, including police brutality and social movements against violence and racism. This is the first of a two-part essay, published with her permission, that combines commentaries she published at The Conversation.