More than two years after the death of Kevin Turner, a 19-year-old who was brutally beaten by two Suffolk County police officers on Long Island, Newsday unveiled its interactive piece that chronicles Turner’s death as well as the investigation into violent policemen.
Turner’s story is incredibly heartbreaking. The fact that this young man was battered by the police in a way that left him comatose for more than six months is hard to stomach.
The readers know that. Newsday knows that. And there’s no better way to get a reaction out of an audience than to get the full story out.
The piece includes several video interviews with Turner’s mother in tears, Turner’s arrival at Stony Brook Hospital and interactive features like an analysis of the full body trauma he suffered. This kind of information further illustrated to readers the how savagely a drug bust was handled.
It seems like Newsday is making its way into interactive journalism. It was a risky decision to take such a sensitive story and display it this way because the nature of it could rehash previous grief for some. However, the information Will Van Sant and Aisha Al-Muslim discovered was too important and a little complicated to explain in a plain narrative.
I thought it was interesting to actually have talked to Al-Muslim before the story was published. She seemed so invested in the story, having already reported it three years back. I think for that reason alone the story is so long and in depth — every fact was crucial.
The story doesn’t touch on the possibilities of racism in this case but that it is much harder to prove and garner evidence for. However, it did remind me of this video, which I think is important for everyone to watch.