People all over the internet and offline were shocked when they saw a Facebook video allegedly broadcast the fatal shooting of 74-year-old Robert Godwin Sr. on Sunday in Cleveland, Ohio. In response to the video, which has been removed from Facebook, Cleveland police have expanded the search for Steve Stephens —who is now charged with the aggravated murder of Godwin — to a nationwide manhunt. "We are not going to leave any stone unturned," the city's Chief of Police Calvin Williams has declared.
In the meantime, Americans around the nation are paying tribute to Godwin, whose life was tragically taken.
Justin Osofsky, Facebook vice president of global opeations, released a statement about the tragic video Monday:
In tragic and disturbing cases like this, there is a chance that media outlets will be focused on covering details about the suspect. While it is critical to have necessary and vital information about the individual in order to keep citizens safe and informed, it is also critical to remember the victim as a human being and not merely a statistic in mortality.
On Sunday, Godwin had been walking home after an Easter gathering with his family before Stephens allegedly accosted him. In a heartbreaking video, Godwin's son told WOIO that his father "was a good guy." According to his son, Godwin loved to fish and enjoyed walks outside where he would stash aluminum cans from the pavement into a small plastic bag.
Now, people around the nation are expressing sorrow and shock at Godwin's death. Many shared heartwarming tweets, photos, and some even drew portraits for the elderly kind-faced gentleman.
Remembering Godwin In These Warm Photos
Robert Godwin Sr., Rest In Peace. pic.twitter.com/oi7YQf5Jjz— deray mckesson (@deray) April 17, 2017
Many shared images of Godwin smiling and having a good time.
Honoring His Memory As A Loving Father & Grandfather
Robert Godwin's family want him to be remembered as a happy, loving father, grandfather and great-grandfather, not the man in the video. pic.twitter.com/inudkxA7Ho— Breaking911 (@Breaking911) April 18, 2017
Godwin's memory should be honored with these images instead of the Facebook video.
Anderson Cooper Praises Godwin's Daughters
Some turned their attention to Godwin's daughters who, according to Cooper, have exemplified patience and endurance in these testing times.
A Moment Of Silence From The Cavaliers
Moment of silence from the Cavaliers in memory of slain Clevelander Robert Godwin Sr pic.twitter.com/r8XG6oZJNU— Joe Noga (@JoeNogaCLE) April 17, 2017
A stadium packed with fans stood still in silence in Godwin's memory.
Art Of Godwin
Some shared sketches of the elderly gentleman.
More Art Of Godwin
People tweeted different drawings of Godwin.
Some Noticed How Kind Godwin's Face Was
Every photo of Mr Robert Godwin breaks my heart, he looks like such a kind soul, rest in paradise #cleveland— nayaa 💋 (@Nayaa___) April 17, 2017
In every photo surfacing so far, Godwin is shown to have a kind and loving appearance.
Others Implored People To Not Share The Video
Please do not share the video of #RobertGodwin's death. Respect him & his family at this time by not RT that.Share a photo of him smiling.🙏🏿— Woody McClain (@WOODY_THEGREAT) April 17, 2017
This is a particularly important point to make. Godwin's memory should be honored by remembering him enjoying time with his loved ones, laughing, and smiling.
As the search for Stephens goes on, people are turning their attention toward Godwin, whose death shook America. With these thoughts, videos, photos, and even drawings, people want Godwin's family to know that they are not alone in their grief.