18 December 2018
The name of my third and final project, Blast to the past is a play on words regarding gun violence in the late 1900’s. I focused mainly on the Bronx which is one of the boroughs of New York, where I live. Instead of focusing on more recent killings in the Bronx such as Junior who was chased and cut up with a machete on the Grand Concourse or the Van Nest Ave shooting that happened right behind my house I decided to focus on injustices before I was born, perhaps to gain a sense of what was happening before my time. I specifically chose the Bronx opposed to New York as a whole because I have lived in the Bronx my whole life so to know more about where I live is only beneficial to me. I also wanted to be more aware of my surroundings. I was inspired by this project because I remember when I used to work at a french bakery and my White American coworker asked me where I live and I responded the Bronx, she put her hand over her heart and said “Oh my God, aren’t you scared?”. I remember laughing because people paint the Bronx in a image I am naive to and although police brutality is everywhere I don’t know much about it in the Bronx specifically.
I used Story Maps to present and display my project. As soon as you open up the link on my project you see a picture of the police force listening to Mayor Bloomberg on Randalls Island days before Christmas a couple of years ago. I chose this picture as the Cover with a translucent title of “Blast to the Past” so that one may understand or have insight that this project will involve police affiliation if not with guns, with explosions, hence the word “blast”.
I wanted to continue with a dark theme because I am talking about the injustices of four victims and one person who killed over 87 people.The topic isn’t light but it is something to be cautious and aware of so I didn’t want to engage with bright colors, I did use black and white for most pictures. The ones that do use color are to emphasize that I am forwarding to the future. The picture of Amadou Diallo has color because it was more recent and there are no black and white pictures of him. In regards to customization I did have a little difficulty trying to move the captions to where I wanted them. It seemed they could only be moved left,center, or to the right which was not of much help to me.
The first person I discuss in my project is Eleanor Bumpurs. Bumpurs lived in the Bronx and was murdered in her home in 1984 after not paying four months of rent as she was being forced out of her home. Not only was Bumpurs mentally ill but she was a senior citizen and over 300 pounds. The police say they shot her because she threatened to stab them, however only the police are alive to tell their side of the story. The second person I discuss is Larry Davis who was stabbed to death in jail. Larry Davis’s case is scandalous because conspiracists believe he knew of cops who had dealings with local drug dealers. The cops raided his sister’s fiance’s home in the Bronx in an attempt to set Davis up and kill him but as he fled he shot six cops which led to a seventeen day manhunt. After catching Davis he was arrested and killed in prison. Supposedly he was killed by an inmate, but once again that is what the police tell us. One more person I chose was the tragic story of Amadou Diallo. Diallo was just a young twenty three year old man accused of looking like a rape suspect grabbing for his wallet which was “mistaken” for a gun and shot forty one times. One thing I don’t understand is if you think someone is grabbing for a gun, why must you shoot them forty one times. That number kept ringing into my head because it meant that the cops had to have reloaded and they knew he wasn’t moving after a while. In order to find the research, I simply looked up articles in the New York Times which I have linked below and simply the power of Google. Going into this project with a simple search of the most dangerous city and of course seeing New York, I wanted to narrow the danger and look at the history of my own borough. I hope readers gain insight and my project causes them to start thinking, I wanted my project to leave people wondering, Why do cops do this? Why do they not actually undergo real punishment? 7 ½ years for murder? I just want to also provide insight on just some petty crimes that resulted to the murder of many in the Bronx involving police.
Besides Amadou Diallo, I was unaware of the four other people that I did research about. I believe that I touched the base of brutality or simply gave names and details but the idea of police brutality or crimes committed from police towards victims, especially three out of the five that I discuss were Black. I learned that hate crimes were committed with no true justice served. I learned that putting on a badge to protect people truly doesn’t mean much, especially in New York. I say this because the same people who put these uniforms on are afraid of the people they are supposed to be protecting and are trigger happy because they have possession of a gun. Reflecting over this piece my only question is why do people assigned to protect carry guns? I didn’t really face any challenges as I was looking for research or even working with Story Maps. The youtube tutorials were very self explanatory and upon playing with the feature best fit for the story I wanted to show, Cascade made it the most simplest.
Works Cited Page
Feuer, Alan. “Fatal Police Shooting in Bronx Echoes One from 32 Years Ago.” The New York Times, The New York Times, 21 Dec. 2017, www.nytimes.com/2016/10/20/nyregion/fatal-police-shooting-in-bronx-echoes-one-from-32-years-ago.html.