In a nation that feels so polarized right now, an Ada County deputy said he wanted to inspire unity and love for humanity in a video he posted to YouTube early in the week.
On Jason Shofner’s Facebook page, where he shared the video, he wrote in a post:
“I can’t count how many times I’ve tried to express my feelings about the recent police protests and shootings and found myself speechless. In the absence of words I created a video that, if nothing else, captures the rawest part of my emotions. My goal was not to point fingers or take sides, but simply to see humanity in all the chaos.”
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The clip features imagery and sounds from recent protests over officer-involved shootings — such as the one in Minnesota that claimed the life of Philando Castile — and the shooting targeting police in Dallas that killed five officers and injured several more.
Shofner said he was inspired to make the video after a conversation his wife had with a friend who was a part of the Black Lives Matter movement. The conversation was passionate and the two didn’t agree on all points, but both were respectful throughout, Shofner said.
“We try to find that common thread and start there,” he said.
The common thread between law enforcement and the Black Lives Matter movement? Humanity, Shofner said.
And he worked to portray that in his video.
“Throughout the video you see the mobs: It’s kind of chaotic,” he said. “But when you see the humans, it’s touching.”
Shofner said he hoped his video could inspire more thoughtful dialogues like the one his wife had.
He felt deeply troubled by the shootings both of police and by police, he said.
“We forget that we’re dealing with lives, and it’s important to be respectful,” he said.