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Philando Castile - Armed Robbery Suspect - News Reports False

Updated on July 10, 2016
RJ Schwartz profile image

When he's not writing poetry or political articles, Ralph fills his time by researching various topics that are influencing society today.

Philando Castile was killed by a police officer in Minnesota during a traffic stop for brandishing a weapon. He was pulled over because he resembled an armed robbery suspect. The officer reacted to the weapon, not the race of the man. He did not have a concealed carry permit and was not pulled over for a broken tail light. The officer that shot him was not white. These are the facts that are emerging after the shooting has been investigated. Unfortunately this shooting, and the false narrative pushed by headline hungry news outlets, has led to more unnecessary deaths, arrests, and racial tensions. It's not the first time in the last few years that false initial claims have led to violence. The fires of a race-war are being stoked from many angles, and the nation is nervous to say the least.

The Media

Hate crimes or perceived racial killings are like liquid gold to the media. They can pull in every facet of anything that's wrong in America and connect it to the current story. The number of interviews, one-off stories, and event coverage means advertising revenue for the news sites. By blaming whites for everything, the media is only taking the course of least resistance. Whites, by nature, are apologetic, afraid of confrontation, and are a large enough group that they can take the hit. White politicians are easy to predict in these moments as they quickly step up with condemning statements and pledges of support for the "victims." White CEO's and community leaders are interested in making money, and protests disrupt business. They will do whatever it takes just to have protests end or be far away from their markets. Business owners don't want their livelihood damaged by unhappy mobs. White students and young people don't want to be branded as racists, so they'll jump in to support protest groups or happily be interviewed, always in support of the victim. The Media understands these facts and exploits them, not in the name of Justice, but in the name of self-aggrandization.

How They Love the Spin

The media has been carefully cultivating the narrative that blacks are constantly under a state of oppression by whites. Stories on shootings by white police officers are over-reported and people are intended believe it happens all the time. In 2016, twice as many whites were killed by police compared to blacks (238 whites, 123 blacks, 79 Hispanic, 69 unknown or other.) The statistics are not favorable for the narrative, so they always get ignored. Most blacks are killed by other blacks. Most whites are killed by other whites. These facts are consistent over time, yet the media continues to stoke an alternate reality. In fact, of all the violent interracial crimes committed each year, 85% are committed by blacks, but the stories seem to try to tell just the opposite. The media is baiting the black community to attack whites. They want bloodshed and violence because it makes them money.

Trayvon versus Zimmerman

Take a look at the high profile killings that occurred over the last few years and you can see the fingerprints of media distortion all over them. The actual stories don't fit the narrative of "all white cops are killing young black men," so they improvise with disasterous results. It started with the killing of Trayvon Martin, by George Zimmerman, who wasn't a cop but wanted to be one. He shot and killed Trayvon who was unarmed during a physical altercation between the two. Zimmerman did not speak to the media after the incident, but that didn't stop the media. The story remained local to the Florida market until the Martin family attorney hired a publicist to get the story out nationally. In order to gin up the story, NBC news lied and said Zimmerman told 911, “He looks like he’s up to no good, he looks black.” This was later shown to be false when the actual transcript of the call emerged. Regardless, the seeds of racial discord were sown and the national media took the ball and ran with it. This fake story didn’t just ruin Zimmerman’s life, it created racial tension that led to attacks on whites by blacks as a sort of revenge. Ironically Zimmerman isnt white.

Ferguson Media Fail

Michael Brown, a black teenager was fatally shot by a white police officer in Ferguson, MO in 2014. The disputed circumstances of the shooting led to rioting, looting, and attracted national attention. In this case, the media swarmed the city and relentlessly filled the airwaves with misinformation. By pushing the story that the officer shot Michael Brown in the back in cold blood, and that there were eyewitnesses, the media fanned the flames which led to the hostilities that saw the city reduced to chaos and destruction. The false claim of "Hands Up Don't Shoot," was widely circulated but later proved to be false. Believing that Brown was executed by a police officer while trying to surrender, the peaceful protests turned violent and continued for nearly a week. The Obama administration became involved and the Justice Department stepped in to take over the investigation, adding power to the protestors. Eventually the truth came out and the officer was exonerated and the shooting justified as self-defense. Regardless of the truth, race relations were made worse. The media and the Obama administration involvement made things much worse. Of course, the media cashed in for over a year, just as expected.

Other High Profile Cases

Freddy Gray dies in police custody, 6 officers brought to trial and a media narrative of how the police killed him. All were found not guilty, but the media drove a racially charged story during the entire incident. Tamar Rice, a young black youth, points a toy pistol at an officer who shoots him. Eric Garner dies after resisting arrest while selling illegal cigarettes. Thousands of demonstrators take to the streets over four nights when a white police officer wasn't charged in his death.


These killings were all unfortunate but until the media stops trying to hype up the events and make false judgements just to get headlines, things won't get any better. In every one of these cases, the "facts" were being broadcasted before any corroborating evidence surfaced. In each case, the truth was not the objective, but instead only a version of the truth which would advance the false narrative. Add in the social media posts by agitators and that fictitious narrative keeps gaining power, now living a life of its own. Responsible news reporting has gone away, only to be replaced by sensationalism and agenda driven politics.


Submit a Comment
  • RJ Schwartz profile imageAUTHOR

    Ralph Schwartz 

    4 years ago from Idaho Falls, Idaho

    Today the police officer was found not guilty after The jury deliberated about 29 hours about the July 6 traffic stop and heard two weeks of testimony in which prosecutors portrayed Yanez as a nervous officer who lost control of his traffic stop. Yanez, a St. Anthony officer, testified he feared for his life because Castile reached for his firearm, despite being instructed not to do.

  • MizBejabbers profile image

    Doris James MizBejabbers 

    4 years ago from Beautiful South

    Jay, as a journalist who was licensed by the FCC back when there was such a thing, I think I'm qualified to answer your question. Yes, to limit the number of news programs and time allowed would be the ultimate in control and censorship. If you read my reply, you know where I stand, but even I could not condone this type of government control. The next step would be government control of content, and I don't think you or anyone else would want that.

    R.J.,my husband thought he had found a "real" news channel, but after the primary elections, it turned into the same partisan dog and pony shows like Fox and CNN. I think that may be impossible in this day and time.

  • RJ Schwartz profile imageAUTHOR

    Ralph Schwartz 

    4 years ago from Idaho Falls, Idaho

    Officer Jeronimo Yanez Charged With Manslaughter in Philando Castile Shooting

  • RJ Schwartz profile imageAUTHOR

    Ralph Schwartz 

    5 years ago from Idaho Falls, Idaho

    Jay - your comment says a lot in very few words. In a nation where we value Freedom at the level we do, especially freedom of speech, any attempt to limit the press would certainly be seen as censorship or worse. I can only hope that someone steps up with a focus on factual news reporting which attracts people seeking the truth (oops there I go living in fantasy land again.) Thanks for weighing in!

  • Jay C OBrien profile image

    Jay C OBrien 

    5 years ago from Houston, TX USA

    Thank you RJ Schwartz. Perhaps the FCC should limit the number of news programs and time allowed. Is this censorship? I don't think so. I believe it would lead toward professionalism in news, the Fourth Estate. What do you think?

  • John Frawley profile image

    John Frawley 

    5 years ago from Southern California

    Thank you, RJ, for reminding all of us including traditional news outlets and reporters, journalist wanna-be's, and bloggers like us that we should temper our immediate "reporting" on hot-button issues and wait until the facts become more clear. It is a detriment to a functioning society to proliferate bogus and especially sensitive information when many folks are already passionate and primed to lash out. Calm, man, calm. Everyone must focus on the truly abhorrent and unjust actions by all involved (police, victims) rather than waste time on situations where each of us may respond in a similar way for personal survival. There are very few instances where an unarmed suspect who is endangering others must be fatally shot multiple times, if at all, to prevent them causing further harm. Folks who are out of control under the influence or refusing to comply are tough cases to figure out, sometimes. To sensationalize stories for ratings and profit really is a misuse of honest journalism. Thanks, man.

  • RJ Schwartz profile imageAUTHOR

    Ralph Schwartz 

    5 years ago from Idaho Falls, Idaho

    No racial bias in police shootings

  • RJ Schwartz profile imageAUTHOR

    Ralph Schwartz 

    5 years ago from Idaho Falls, Idaho

    Great response - I think that if you go back to the non-stop White Bronco follow by CNN during the OJ Simpson event, and the subsequent rating boost CNN experienced, the die was cast for this type of reporting.

  • MizBejabbers profile image

    Doris James MizBejabbers 

    5 years ago from Beautiful South

    I agree, I believe in freedom of speech, but we were taught not to yell "fire" in a crowded theater or we could be prosecuted for starting a stampede or riot. As a former member of the media, I think this is now what the media is doing, and they are not being prosecuted for it. Did you watch how CNN followed the "police being extra cautious" after they had a perceived threat a day and a half after the shootings of the Dallas police? They followed a lead that was probably nothing and went on and on for hours afterward about it.

    I think the main reason for this is cable news. Formerly radio and TV stations had very little time to report the news. However, 24-hour cable TV networks have to fill time, so they do it by keeping "news" stirred up. Don't you get tired of 24-hours a day of Donald Trump and Hillary Clinton? Yea, now we have some racial shootings to report! Who cares about facts? Get on it! Let's keep it going. Now we've got real fill dirt!

    I've said before that I'm glad to have such good police departments in our Little Rock/North Little Rock area, but I can't say so much for other police in my state, especially Pine Bluff. Google "Monroe Isador" or "police shoot 107-year-old man" if you want to read a story that will really raise your hackles. This was a 107-year-old black man shot in bed by a multi-racial bunch of rabid officers, but there was no outrage. In fact, they were given "Medals of Valor, which now they've been ordered to return in light of these other shootings.

  • RJ Schwartz profile imageAUTHOR

    Ralph Schwartz 

    5 years ago from Idaho Falls, Idaho

    If everyone would realize this, there would certainly be a lot less violence in America. In the past, any news anchor or reporter worth their salt would check and recheck their facts before reporting on stories. Now, that integrity has evaporated and it's all about the sensationalism and fast-attack reporting.

  • Jodah profile image

    John Hansen 

    5 years ago from Gondwana Land

    Thank you for presenting the fact here, Ralph. I believe very little I read or hear in the news these days. There is so much competition and pressure for a story that facts are twisted and eaggerated. The media should be held guilty for many crimes it has incited.


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