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June 2022


How to Become a Bounty Hunter

Ex-DHS Secretary Johnson Suggests Graphic Images Would ‘Awaken the Public’ on School Shootings

Former Homeland Security Director Jeh Johnson.

By Steve Neavling

As school shootings continue to increase, former Homeland Security Secretary Jeh Johnson suggested that “something graphic is required to awaken the public to the real horror” of the massacres.

“I lack the moral standing to tell a parent to accept and approve, for the greater good, the public display of photos of his or her dead child. Only they can judge the additional weight that doing so would place on them, at a time when they are already struggling with unimaginable grief,” Johnson wrote in an op-ed published in The Washington Post

“Nor do I suggest the release of any images in particular. But something graphic is required to awaken the public to the real horror of these repeated tragedies,” he added,

Johnson pointed to the impact that photos have had on historical events, from Black protesters being beaten in the south to a white cop kneeling on the neck of George Floyd. 

“Conversely, imagine if there had been no video of Floyd’s killing, leaving us with the initial Minneapolis police report, which was headed simply, ‘Man dies after medical incident during police interaction,’” Johnson wrote.

Johnson called the Uvalde elementary school shooting a “crime scene” that lawmakers should view more closely. 

“Robb Elementary School in Uvalde is a crime scene. If there were a case to go to trial, the prosecution would have to present publicly the shocking evidence of guilt. Put another way: Why must innocent schoolchildren, for the rest of their lives, carry the vivid memories of the executions of their teachers and classmates, while federal and state lawmakers (and the adult constituents who elect them) are spared?” he wrote. 

Johnson closed his piece by writing, “I am convinced that part of the reason we’ve been unable to do this is because the public and the politicians who purport to represent them lack a vivid understanding of the price being paid. The horror has been kept under wraps. To truly judge the trade-offs of the status quo, the death and destruction must be honesty revealed. We need a game changer. We need an Emmett Till moment.”

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