Footage vanished on command, not by a tech gremlin
8 Jul 2016 at 05:31, Iain Thomson
The deadly shooting of 32-year-old Philando Castile by a cop during a routine traffic stop in Minnesota on Wednesday just got murkier.
Multiple sources have told The Register that police removed video footage of Castile’s death from Facebook, potentially tampering with evidence.
Castile, his girlfriend Diamond Reynolds, and her four-year-old daughter were pulled over by police in the Falcon Heights suburb of Minneapolis for a broken tail light. Using her cellphone and Facebook Live, Reynolds web-streamed footage of her dying boyfriend after he was shot by a police officer as he reached for his ID in his wallet. The video was mysteriously removed from her Facebook profile as it went viral across the internet.
On Thursday, Facebook said a “technical glitch” caused the recording to be pulled from its social network. However, Reynolds claimed officers seized her phone and took over her Facebook account to delete the evidence.
Multiple sources with knowledge of the event have tonight confirmed to The Register that someone – highly suspected to be the city’s police – used her phone to remove her recording from public view shortly after the shooting.
That move prevented anyone from sharing and watching the vid, until the material was restored about an hour later with a graphic content warning. In the meantime, copies of the footage spread across Twitter and YouTube.
“Everyone who shared my video, they don’t want you guys to be a part of this. They don’t want us to support each other. They’re going to tamper with evidence. This is not right, this is not acceptable. A police officer should not to be able to gun a man down for no reason.”
A spokesperson for the Falcon Heights police department was not available for comment.