The City of Tulsa signed the Compassionate City Charter in 2015. By doing so, Tulsa pledged to infuse public policy with compassion. Compassion means feeling the pain of others and seeking to alleviate it.
When asked about the participation of Tulsa police in the filming of “Live PD,” City Councilor Crista Patrick admitted she struggled with showing people at their worst moments and worried the hurt of being portrayed on the show could follow people for years. Her response showed compassion for those who are publicly shamed.
Renowned psychiatrist, author and expert on violent behavior, James Gilligan M.D., calls the emotion of shame, “a primary or ultimate cause of all violence, whether towards others or towards the self."
The effects of shame are dose-dependent. Gilligan asserts that, "The person who is overwhelmed by feelings of shame is by definition experiencing a psychically life-threatening lack of love and someone in that condition has no love left for anyone else."
Shows like “Live PD” perpetuate viewer disdain for those being arrested. If Mayor G.T. Bynum is serious about addressing the root cause of crime in our community and implementing restorative justice, then he needs not to contribute to the public shaming and dehumanizing of human beings. His support for “Live PD” Tulsa is neither compassionate nor wise.
It certainly is not loving.
It is disrespectful to those who have told him the show causes pain and suffering to people of color, who are already disproportionately harmed by police violence and arrests.
Nancy Moran, Tulsa
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