In the first six months of 2017, twenty-seven unarmed people were fatally shot by police officers in the United States. “Don’t Shoot” shows six different empty hands made of bronze, pointing like guns directly at the viewer. Empty hands perceived as weapons, twisted in the perspective of police departments into images of violence and murder, but police are making those images real.
For the twenty-seven people in those six months, their twenty-seven empty pairs of hands were made into excuses for the violence, societal damage, and disruption caused by those carrying actual guns. The actions of those police officers have massive repercussions, from the traumas of their families and communities, to mass protests and general distrust from the public. We should not have to fear the people who are set to protect us.
Are some police are trained to expect the worst of people? Shoot first and ask later.