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Palm Beach County Sheriff's Office cautions graphic, traumatizing suicide video circulating online

Video might be disguised with thumbnail of kittens or puppies
Posted at 6:34 PM, Sep 10, 2020
and last updated 2020-09-10 18:35:53-04

WEST PALM BEACH, Fla. — A graphic traumatizing suicide video circulating on social media is raising a lot of concern among parents, the 211 HelpLine and the Palm Beach County Sheriff's Office.

Now, parents are strongly encouraged to monitor their child's online activity.

Ca'Ron Pittman,16, spends eight hours a day juggling five classes in front of the computer.

"I actually like going to school virtually because I can do it on my own time, and I don't have to do the work right then and there," Pittman said.

The teen also has a social media brand to manage after hours.

" I use Instagram, Snapchat and Twitter," Pittman said. "It's kind of addicting."

His father, Jacoby Waters, requires that he knows the passwords of all three of his son's accounts. Additionally, they follow each other online, and the experts say there's a reason.

" You have to be cautious about what you're consuming, and what your children are consuming because it can be traumatizing," said Sharon L'Herrou, 211 HelpLine Palm Beach/Treasure Coast CEO. "There is an issue of suicide contagion."

L'Herrou is referring to a graphic suicide video that published reports say shows a 33-year-old man livestream his death on Facebook. Published reports say the video also ended up widely shared on TikTok and other social networks.

The Palm Beach County Sheriff's Office tweeted Thursday they are urging parents to be aware of the video.

"The video's thumbnail could have kittens/puppies. Children/teens who have seen it report being traumatized," the sheriff's office tweeted.

" Be vigilant," said L'Herrou. "No one wants to lose a friend or a family member to suicide. We here at 211 are getting an averaging of 10 to 20 suicide-related calls a day."

Both the sheriff's office and 211 HelpLine advise people who are traumatized to seek help. Parental approval isn't necessary. You can call 211 or text your zip code to 898 211.