So if you can make it through this, pay attention to the moment just after passenger Diamond Reynolds is removed from the car and detained.
The camera reveals only blue sky and power-line. And you can hear the police officer who has just killed yet another black man in the United States shout, “F**k!” And pause, “F**k!”
Blue sky and power-line and then, “F**k!” again
I want to understand why he is shouting? Is he shouting because he realizes that she’s filming? Is he shouting because he recognizes that his life is forever altered (perhaps)? Is he shouting because he realizes he screwed up? Is he shouting out of deep remorse? Is he shouting because this keeps happening and happening and happening?
In the Poetics, Aristotle describes something called Anagorisis or “Moments of Recognition.” It means the moment in a play when a character realizes something about a situation or about himself or another character. Think Oedipus.
So what is that officer recognizing?
According to Killed By Police, Philando Castile was the 600th person killed by police this year.
Are we shouting? Why are we shouting?
If you stay with the video you’ll hear Reynolds’s daughter call for her mother. She’s also having a moment of recognition–one that I’m pretty sure my white children will never have.
Shout louder, people. Shout louder.