Missouri violence sparks social media outcry - Cincinnati News, FOX19-WXIX TV

Missouri violence sparks social media outcry

A community up in arms over the shooting death of unarmed 18-year-old Mike Brown at the hands of police. A community up in arms over the shooting death of unarmed 18-year-old Mike Brown at the hands of police.
(FOX19) -

Violence and looting the past three nights in Missouri. A community up in arms over the shooting death of an unarmed 18-year-old at the hands of police.
 
Michael Brown's death has sparked a nationwide social media outcry.
 
Now there's a hashtag on Twitter trending nationwide called "if they gunned me down", and many local people are recognizing the pros and cons of social media during these tragic incidents.
 
Stephani Syfax Shepherd posted a picture to Instagram. It shows two completely different sides of her, but if she were to pass, how would people remember her?
 
"A picture says a thousand words but it leaves out just as many," said Stephani Syfax Shepherd.
 
Many protesters near Saint Louis are upset that some media outlets are using a picture that portrays Brown as a troublemaker, as opposed to a different picture as a nice, hardworking young man. But both were taken from social media sites.
 
"When you see pictures on a Facebook page and you're about to put that out there as an image for someone's life. They're no longer here, they can't defend themselves, explain that picture or anything. I think that's where the media should be responsible and at least have a standard to say how about whether the perpetrator is black, white, Latino, Asian, we're going to find a picture of him in a shirt and tie, something that's a standard," said Hayward Thompson.
 
Hayward Thompson also decided to compare a couple photos with the hashtag "if they gunned me down", but he says no matter how the victim is portrayed, this behavior isn't acceptable.
 
"No matter how sad the situation is we can't continue to make it worse by acting out of anger and emotion," said Thompson.

13 years ago, Cincinnati had similar riots after a police officer shot an unarmed black man.
 
"It's deja vu in a sense that it's historical in America and at some point it has to stop," said Damon Lynch, pastor at New Prospect Baptist.
 
Damon Lynch was active in bringing about police reform in Cincinnati during the riots in 2001.

"It wasn't easy and everybody didn't want to do it but we had to change," said Lynch. 

Social media wasn't around during the chaos in the Queen City, and Lynch believes there's pros and cons to the technology. But he believes it would have only broadened the movement.
 
"It gives the average person now a chance to speak out on international and national issues where before they could not do that," said Lynch.
 
"It portrays people in certain images so that's the bad part about it but it also allows people to create a movement to change these things where we don't have to deal with the sadness of someone innocent dying," said Syfax-Shepherd.
 
Just in the past couple days, nearly 200 thousand people nationwide have posted using the hashtag "if they gunned me down".

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