Philando Castile and Alton Sterling’s shootings at the hands of police officers have sparked nationwide outrage. Although Alton Sterling’s death is still under investigation, Philando’s death has already been ruled a homicide, and many of the factors that contributed to this decision have been revealed.
Just hours after the live Facebook video of Philando Castile’s death had gone viral, Minnesota governor Mark Dayton wasted no time voicing his disapproval of the officer’s impulsive actions and the victim’s senseless death, according Fox 9. “On behalf of all decent-minded Minnesotans, which are almost all of us in this state, we’re shocked and horrified by what occurred last night,” Gov. Dayton said. “I extend my deepest condolences to the family, friends, and community of Philando Castile. Our state today grieves with them,” he said.
— TRAPCRY (@trapcry) July 8, 2016
“I am horrified and heartbroken by the death of Philando Castile. I am horrified that we are forced to confront yet another death of a young African-American man at the hands of law enforcement.”
Now that the details are slowly being revealed, Philando Castile’s death only seems worse. Many Conservative news outlets have dissected the details of the case in an effort to discredit Philando Castile and justify his murder. And unfortunately, the alleged “facts” aren’t facts at all. One of the most outlandish claims centers around the photograph of the alleged robbery suspect Philando Castile was mistaken for.
Philando Castile had no felony record and authorities have not said he was wanted in any crime https://t.co/7sBwYLFvNF
— New York Post (@nypost) July 12, 2016
According to Conservative Treehouse, there are claims that Philando Castile was confirmed to be the man in the Falcon Heights robbery. “The other suspect was described as a black man with shoulder-length dreadlocks, who wore tan pants, tan shoes with white soles, a green jacket, a green baseball cap and glasses,” the release said. “He also had some of his hair pulled into a bun through the strap on the back of his hat and had a small mustache and facial hair on his chin,” the publication wrote. Now, there is a photo of the surveillance footage going viral.
— John Galt (@JohnGGalt) July 9, 2016
Even Officer Jeronimo Yanez insisted Philando Castile and his girlfriend, Diamond Reynolds, looked similar to the suspects involved in the robbery. When the dispatch audio was released, Officer Yanez revealed the real reason he’d planned to stop Philando’s vehicle, and it had nothing to do with a broken tail-light as numerous reports suggested. It was later revealed that Philandro Castile was pulled over for having a “wide set nose.”
— The Root (@TheRoot) July 10, 2016
“I’m going to stop a car. I’m going to check IDs. I have reason to pull it over. The two occupants just look like people that were involved in a robbery. The driver looks more like one of our suspects, just ’cause of the wide set nose.”
Although the news sites claim Philando Castile was, indeed, the man captured on surveillance aiming a gun toward a store clerk, a closer look at the controversial photograph proves otherwise. However, the incriminating arguments didn’t stop there. Despite the graphic footage of the shooting, news sites have still attempted to justify the shooting with another argument.
Philando Castile had no criminal record, but unfortunately, that wasn’t taken into consideration when he was accused of being a robbery suspect. There are also claims that he did not have a permit to carry the weapon, but those rumors have also been refuted. There is even a rumor about the gun sitting in Philando Castile’s lap at the time of the shooting. The blurred image, which is quite difficult to make out, allegedly shows an image of the gun and news outlets claim the “visible gun” is partially why the officer fired. But, of course, that rumor has also been proven to be false.
It’s very unfortunate to justify death in any case, but the media has taken this to a new extreme. Despite the live footage and the dispatch audio, many blue supporters still feel the need to justify the death of Philando Castile. Hopefully, justice is served on behalf of his family.
[Photo by Stephen Maturen/Getty Images]