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KPRC 2′s Brandon Walker reflects on the professional and personal experience of covering Houston’s George Floyd protests

"But even bigger than that, it affects how you see yourself.”

HOUSTON – Journalists across the country have been working day and night to cover the protests following George Floyd’s death.

KPRC 2 reporter Brandon Walker was at the forefront as protests began to get violent in Houston Friday night.

His approach was to give viewers at home context for what they were seeing on their screens, but also to step back and allow protestors the chance to speak.

“I remember thinking throughout the coverage that I was tanking because I wasn’t asking enough questions," Walker said, while recapping his experience with Houston Life. "But then my gut kept telling me, ‘No, it really isn’t for you to ask questions, it’s for you to give people a chance to say what they say they haven’t been able to say.’”

Brandon shared an insight into the communication with his photographer as they navigate an active scene:

“You just learn in live reporting to keep your head on a swivel so you constantly look at what’s going on.”

But for Walker, the experience of covering Houston’s protests was as personal as it was professional.

“Well, I didn’t sleep much Friday night into Saturday, and I remember just this absolute stillness cloaking me all day Saturday and into Sunday. So it was a pretty different weekend for me. Speaking to a 19-year-old about seeing his dad be pulled over and having him describe the fear that he felt ... that lingers no matter who you are. For me, it just made me think about some instances I experienced growing up, and some instances I experience to this day. I remember thinking of a matter involving my dad outside of our house once. They were looking for a suspect and somehow their eyes were on him for no reason. And he was pinned to the ground outside of his house with his sons looking. And so these are things that people don’t forget and those experiences have to be brought to the forefront of the conversation because they affect how you interact with people in positions of authority. But even bigger than that, it affects how your see yourself.”

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Happy Father’s Day, @b._walk! This #fathersday I’m encouraged by my friend, @letsunpackthat88, to share a tale of masculinity that challenges our often restricted perception of what it means to be a man. So, what’s my dad got to do with it? Easy. When I was 16, life forced dad to add another title to his arsenal: mom. After mom passed away, dad had to take on two roles. Not easy when raising three boys as a suddenly single parent. His needs didn’t matter. To him, they couldn’t matter. Here’s to the dads who had to be mom, too. Gawd knows I’m thankful. So... I am challenging all the men out there to participate in the #Redefinemasculinity challenge! Our cultural views on masculinity are causing a serious impact on the health of men today. There is NO reason why men should have shorter lifespans than women in today’s world. Many men believe that being vulnerable and admitting to shortcomings (even with health) will make others perceive them as weak. I have personally seen how reluctance to address problems can lead to delayed diagnosis and more debilitating illness. My challenge to all of you is to help #redefinemasculinity by either 1) Posting about a time where you felt vulnerable 2) Posting a picture of yourself doing something that is not traditionally considered masculine. (Dance, beauty, ect) I’ve got more pics and tales to post. Will do throughout the day. Join me!

A post shared by KPRC2 Brandon Walker (@kprc2brandonwalker) on

You can see more on Brandon Walker’s reports both behind the scenes and in front of the camera by following him on Facebook, Twitter and Instagram.

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