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Was the Robin Williams press conference inappropriate?

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Authorities in California are taking heat for giving graphic details of Robin Williams’ suicide. The public outcry doesn’t surprise Craig Harvey, chief coroner investigator with the Los Angeles County Department of Coroner. “We got the same blowback from Michael Jackson’s death,” he said.

Read the full USA Today article here.

The coroner’s office is a public records office, “so all of that information, as uncomfortable as it might be, is fair game,” he said. Others are saying it wasn’t wrong of authorities to give the information but it was wrong of media to repeat it.

Personally I didn’t find anything to be so shocking or graphic. We already knew it was a suicide and it was by asphyxiation. We all assumed hanging. What did we really learn other than it was done with a belt, that he was in a suspended, slightly seated looking position, and that an initial attempt and slicing his wrist with a pocket knife failed. Maybe I’m too jaded but I didn’t find anything so terrible here. If anything, I think the information given about Robin Williams’ suicide will get people to talk more openly about depression, bring it out of the shadows and away from needless shame, and possibly help others and save lives.

Many disagree. Twitterverse exploded with outrage. Here are some examples:

“Why are the police having a press conference & offering up very intimate details about Robin Williams’ death? This isn’t anyone’s business.”

“What an awful press conference. Let’s stick to remembering & paying tribute to @robinwilliams in the way he deserved.”

“Wow. Was not expecting this level of detail in the Robin Williams press conference. Why does the world need to know this??”

@ananavarro: “Wish press wasn’t going into details of Robin Williams’ death. Let’s remember him as a humble, noble man who shared his talent w/world.”

@AlexMLeo: “The amount of info being given out about Robin Williams’ death is shocking. Holding a press conference to give gory details is horrible.”

@DrNeilMaredia: “Don’t agree with decision by @bbc5live to broadcast gory details of Robin Williams’ death from live police press conference. Inappropriate.”

“I get the world is hungry to know how Robin Williams died, but do we really need the gory deets? Can we not afford the family that privacy?”

What do you think?

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