Apps like Periscope and Snapchat are connecting people in ways we would have never imagined 20 years ago. Social media apps are allowing us to take a glimpse into the everyday lives of ordinary people, but there is a dark side. We are now seeing more incidents of crimes being captured live, a feat formally reserved for news crews who happened to be filming at the wrong time.
This latest story is coming out of Chicago.
28-year-old Antonio Perkins had been enjoying a rare day off from his job at McDonald’s. The Facebook stream starts out fairly mundane, showing Perkins, along with several friends, sharing some drinks and complaining about the heat outside of a Chicago residence. Perkins doesn’t say much, but suddenly turns to look at something off camera and says “Boy, stop playin’.”
Roughly a dozen pops are heard as the shot goes fuzzy. Bloodied blades of grass can be briefly seen just before the view goes dark. Panic can be heard in the background as friends rush to Perkins’ side and terror in a female’s voice urging someone to “call 9-1-1.”
Prior to streaming services like Facebook’s, news agencies who obtained such footage would be responsible for editing the material to avoid complaints from viewers who didn’t want to see the footage. Though Facebook does have policies against videos glorifying violence, they will keep up videos that draw awareness.
In this case, the video offers a raw and real glimpse into the horror of gun violence that impacts Chicagoans on a daily basis. It shows how in an instant friends can be sharing drinks on a porch and complaining about the summer heat, and the next moment they’re dead.
With thousands of people broadcasting their lives in real-time daily, there is sure to be more incidents like Perkins’ in the future.