Smart. Sharp. Funny. Fearless.

Monday, December 09, 2019 {{ new Date().getDay() }}

At a rally following the fatal shooting of Philando Castile, someone in the crowd shouted: “If police had helped him, he would have survived.”

Diamond Reynolds, Philando’s girlfriend, told the crowd that police did not even take his pulse, but rushed their colleague off to the side.

The disturbing footage, posted live to Facebook by Reynolds, initially shows the blood-stained Castile sitting upright, groaning at least once. He is then seen slumping to the left. The footage runs just over 90 seconds before Reynolds is ordered out of the car.

During that minute and a half, while Reynolds is broadcasting via her phone, there is sporadic back and forth between her and a police officer. There is brief glimpse of the officer holding a gun, still pointed at the vehicle.

Reynolds is told at one point to keep her hands where they can be seen.

This is a live situation, a shooting has just happened. There is a gravely injured individual in the driver’s seat, a second adult, and a child who witnessed the whole thing.

Other footage, from a witness, shows Castile lying on the ground just outside the vehicle, with officers around him. It is not known yet exactly how long after Reynolds was ordered from the car that this was filmed.

Police officers are not required to give medical assistance in an emergency. They do not, as a rule, have the training. They are required to “render” assistance, which means calling for paramedics as soon as possible.

Witnesses describe a scene of pandemonium within minutes of shots being fired, with multiple squad cars, and an ambulance arriving.

A black man being pulled over for a broken tail light, in what is an overwhelmingly white and Asian suburb, seems vaguely like some dangerous cliche.

He is asked for his drivers’ license and identification, by an officer described, variously at the rally and in the footage by Reynolds, as nervous and Chinese.

Castile reaches down to his side, and as he does, according to Reynolds, he tells the officer he has a concealed carry gun.

Then, the police officer has the safety catch off his holster, and his gun out, and he is shouting “don’t move,” and he is firing multiple rounds into the car, within what must have been seconds..

One of the speakers at the rally, held outside the Minnesota governor’s office, strongly suggested mental health evaluations should be standard for police officers.

There was madness, indeed, on the street in the suburbs of Minneapolis Wednesday, but you can be sure it is not confined to the state of Minnesota, that evening or this.

Blake Neff

Twitter screenshot

Reprinted with permission from MediaMatters

On July 10, CNN's Oliver Darcy reported that Blake Neff, the top writer for Tucker Carlson's prime-time Fox News show, had been anonymously posting racist, misogynistic, homophobic, and other offensive content on an online forum for five years. Neff used racist and homophobic slurs, referred to women in a derogatory manner, and pushed white supremacist content while writing for Carlson's show. Neff resigned after CNN contacted him for comment.

As Darcy reported, in an interview with the Dartmouth Alumni Magazine, Neff claimed anything Carlson read during his show was initially drafted by him. Darcy also found instances where there was "some overlap between the forum and the show," as sometimes the "material Neff encountered on the forum found its way on to Carlson's show."

During a 2018 appearance on Fox's The Five to promote his book Ship of Fools, Carlson mentioned Neff by name, calling him a "wonderful writer." Carlson also included Neff in the acknowledgments of the book.


s3.amazonaws.com


Before joining Fox News, Neff worked at The Daily Caller, a conservative news outlet that Carlson co-founded. The outlet has published a number of white supremacists, anti-Semites, and bigots.


Carlson has a long history of promoting white supremacist content on his show. His show has featured many guests who have connections to white supremacy and far-right extremism. Carlson has regularly been praised by Neo-Nazis and various far-right extremist figures, and he's been a hero on many white supremacist podcasts. Users of the extremist online message boards 4chan and 8chan have repeatedly praised Carlson.

The manifesto released by the gunman who killed 20 people in El Paso, Texas, in 2019 was strewn with content that echoed talking points from Carlson's show. Days after the shooting, Carlson declared that calling white supremacy a serious issue is a "hoax" as it is "actually not a real problem in America."

Carlson has been hemorrhaging advertisers following his racist coverage of the Black Lives Matters movement and the recent protests against police brutality. Now that we know his top writer was using content from white supremacist online message boards for Carlson's show, it is more imperative than ever that advertisers distance their brands away from this toxicity.