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Chauvin trial stirs up local trauma

Published: Apr. 14, 2021 at 5:50 PM EDT
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TOLEDO, Ohio (WTVG) - The trial of Derek Chauvin has plenty of local viewers. Every day the live streams on our website and Facebook page draw in hundreds of Northwest Ohio residents, but watching is not always easy and can be emotional for people, even here at home.

“It’s almost like watching a snuff film. Watching someone being murdered and going over it in detail,” says Brother Washington Muhammads, the co-founder of Community Solidarity Response Network, Toledo’s branch of Black Lives Matter. He’s been watching the Chauvin trial since Day 1.

“Watching it has produced some anxiety, watching it has produced some stress,” says Muhammad.

Aaren Snyder, a therapist at the Zepf Center, says this reaction is normal.

“The community experiences PTSD because there’s no foreseeable end to it... In a community where you’re constantly seeing these things on TV, you see them on social media, you see them in your own life, there’s no end to that trauma,” says Snyder.

He cautions people watching at home to be realistic in their expectations and take time for self-care.

“Regardless of what happens, it’s out of our hands, so we have to do what’s best to take care of ourselves and our mental health,” says Snyder.

But the feelings being stirred up are complicated, and not necessarily all bad.

“These things that are happening, aren’t new. They’ve been going on forever, but now they’re being recorded, now they’re being observed by the masses, and now we’re in a better place to do something about it,” says Snyder.

“A lot of us have been vindicated on why we didn’t make it home. Why we made it home bruised. Why we didn’t make it home at all,” says Muhammad.

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