Like many spouses and loved ones of police shooting victims, Daniel Shaver's widow is trying to process what happened and get answers and justice. She is making her challenge public and exposing many tragic aspects of not just police brutality but also of deep-rooted issues within the legal system that insulate officers from accountability.
One of the things Daniel Shaver's widow has done is create the Daniel Shaver Challenge on Facebook. She has taken the transcript from the body cam footage of the shooting and events surrounding it and made a recreation for viewers. She challenges viewers to see if they could have better complied with police orders and thus survived that night as her husband did not.
She asks: Will you survive?
She also tackles another issue -- that of secrecy surrounding police shooting inquiries. The reason her challenge uses a recreation from a transcript and not actual footage is because the footage was not publicly released. Even the widow was unable to see the footage without agreeing to secrecy (which she did not). She makes her views on such secrecy -- as well as on a plea deal offered to the officer without her consent -- on another youtube posting regarding her conversation with the prosecutors.
A judge eventually ordered a redacted version of the footage be released.
Daniel Shaver's widow may be taking a more unconventional and public approach to the police shooting of her husband, but her sorrow, disbelief and quest for transparency and justice are far from unique. Victims of police shootings across the country want to know why police officers continue to engage in militarized policing, unjustified shootings and failure to de-escalate, when time after time these failures costs people their lives.
Victims and concerned citizens also justifiably want to know why key video and audio footage is kept under a veil of secrecy and "off limits" from the very people who are most impacted by unconstitutional policing (the public whom police officers are supposed to serve and protect).
The nationwide epidemic of police shootings will continue until we seriously reckon with these questions and institute the reforms necessary to effectuate real change in how we police and how we address police shootings.