Too far?

This photo appears on the front page of today’s Democrat and Chronicle. It shows a trail of blood down a city sidewalk leading to the place where Brent Coley was found dead by police on Tuesday night. He was one of two 15-year-old boys who were murdered that night in what Rochester Police Chief David Moore has described as “a result of high-risk lifestyles.”

The picture has stirred some controversy in our city and many people are questioning the paper’s decision to run it.

What do you think?

Does this photo serve a purpose in bringing attention to the problem of violence in our city? Or does the use of such graphic imagery merely exploit the tragic loss of one of our city’s youth in an effort to sell more papers?

(Also, please remember to Pray For Rochester.)

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7 thoughts on “Too far?

  1. Our culture is saturated with the imagery of violence. Look no farther then modern cinema. I think there is a major disconnection in our minds. We are so used to seeing blood that it almost doesn’t seem real. Seems like an attempt to rattle peoples awareness. Although I don’t know how effective it will be.

  2. It’s very possible that I’m desensitized myself, but blood spatters do not appall me. I think it’s effective without being grotesque. I’ve seen so much worse in the daily Iraq updates.

    Now if they had bodies or body parts in the picture, that would be an entirely different story for me.

  3. Does the fact that this blood is from a 15-year-old boy come into play in your feelings at all? What if it were from a five-year-old? Does the age of the victim make any difference in your mind?

  4. No. But I’m also in a phase in my life where I’m finding I need to see all life as equal.

    I did find myself looking at the blood and imagining the events going down, and that sucked. But that required staring and contemplating on it. It wasn’t something that jumped off the page immediately.

    But I’m sure for others it may have.

  5. Another question to throw out there…

    What about respect for the family’s right to privacy and sensitivity to their mourning? Don’t they deserve to not have photos of their dead son’s blood all over every newsstand, and countless others viewing it on the web?

    I can’t help but wonder how I would feel if this photo were of my son’s blood and it were on the front page on every newsstand in the Greater Rochester area today.

    (And yes, I am aware of the fact that I’m bringing more attention to it by blogging about it. I’m not approving or criticizing the paper’s decision to run the photo. I’m trying to figure out how I feel about it as well.)

  6. I find that kind of photo insensitive to the families involved even if the boys involved were in gangs or other “high-risk” behavior.

    Although it isn’t as unsettling as hear gun-shots from drive-by down the street. Or driving past the after-math of gang violence on my way to work.

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