Facebook said on late Sunday that the Cleveland Facebook Live murder video posted on suspect “Stevie Steve” Stephens’ account was not live at all. Facebook has faced heavy criticism ever since the 37-year-old Cleveland man shared the murder video on his Facebook account on Easter Sunday. While Stephens did record himself as the killing took place, Facebook issued an update late Sunday to say that the video was uploaded later, not broadcast live, as originally reported.
According to Facebook, Steve Stephens, who went by username “Stevie Steve” on Facebook, did go live on his mobile phone at some point during the day on Sunday, but reportedly only after he had already gunned down an innocent man on a Cleveland, Ohio, sidewalk. A separate lengthy video, that was also first uploaded to Facebook and then to YouTube on Sunday, shows “Stevie Steve” explaining his motive for killing 74-year-old Robert Godwin Sr. on 635 East 93rd Street in Cleveland, saying that he “just snapped.”
— The Daily Haze (@TheDailyHaze) April 17, 2017
The five-minute video on YouTube also shows Steve Stephens saying that he shamed Zeta Omega, a sorority and fraternity located in Cleveland, Ohio, as well as himself, and that he killed 13 people; although, only the murder of Godwin has been verified. Stephens goes on to say that he’s killing “all because of” his ex-girlfriend Joy Lane and added that she “put him at his pushing point” on Friday when he “couldn’t take it anymore” and left. Halfway through the video, “Stevie Steve” Stephens even gives out his work phone number at the Cleveland behavioral health agency, Beech Brook, where he was employed as a behavioral health worker, saying “you can call me.”
Beech Brook issued a statement on Sunday to say that they were “shocked and horrified” to hear that Steve Stephens had killed the unsuspecting Cleveland resident, who was a retired foundry worker and grandfather, on Sunday afternoon, all while displaying his work identification badge. Nancy Kortemeyer with Beech Brook said that they were notified the murder was on Facebook, according to Fox 8 out of Cleveland, adding that they hope Mr. Stephens is apprehended as soon as possible.
— JUMPMANDEZ88 (@xxlilphilliesxx) April 17, 2017
Wired wrote on Sunday night that Facebook live-streamed the Cleveland murder, and “must now face itself.” However, Facebook has since responded to criticism by news media, saying that the Cleveland “shooting in question was not broadcast via Facebook Live.” Rather, according to a report on WITN, ” Steve Stephens did go live on his “Stevie Steve” Facebook account at one point during the day on Sunday, but “not during the killing,” as Cleveland police had previously reported.
According to the report, the short video, that graphically shows Robert Godwin, Sr. trying to shield himself with a plastic shopping bag before being fatally shot by Steve Stephens, was only on Facebook for three hours, before the social media site took it down and completely deleted the account. However, not before the video had already made its way across the internet, as noted by a previous report on the Inquisitr that says the “same graphic video” that was removed from the “Stevie Steve” Facebook account has since been uploaded to YouTube, as well as the news and information website Heavy.
“Steve’s name is causing plenty of people in the Cleveland area and beyond to warn others about the presence of the cold blooded killer.”
— Hell Yeah (@_ImpracticalTBM) April 17, 2017
Steve Stephens’ seemingly random murder of an elderly Cleveland passerby isn’t the first violent and gruesome act that’s been live-streamed or uploaded to Facebook. For over a year, Facebook has faced criticism after shootings, suicides, kidnappings, and torture have all been streamed “across the internet for the world to see thanks to Facebook Live,” according to Valley News Live. Some critics are even saying that it’s time to shut down Facebook Live.
Facebook continues to defend its live video streaming capabilities, a feature that was launched in August 2015, saying they “have staff monitor popular live streams for content violations and will shut it down if necessary,” as was the case with the Cleveland “Stevie Steve” killing, dubbed the “Easter Sunday Joy Lane massacre” by Stephens himself.
“This is a horrific crime and we do not allow this kind of content on Facebook. We work hard to keep a safe environment on Facebook, and are in touch with law enforcement in emergencies when there are direct threats to physical safety.”
UPDATE Homicide suspect Steve Stephens' actual vehicle has Ohio Temp tag E363630 pic.twitter.com/tE3r5u4BNN
— Cleveland Police (@CLEpolice) April 17, 2017
A media update posted on the Cleveland police Twitter account on Monday morning tells the public to “give us a call” if they need information on Steve Stephens, adding to not rely on social media. The video update goes on to say that “Stevie Steve” Stephens is still out there, adding that his location and condition is unknown. Cleveland police, alongside federal, state, and other local partners, say they intend to “not stop” until the Facebook shooter is in custody.
[Featured Image by Carl Court/Getty Images]