back to article Facebook ‘glitch’ that deleted the Philando Castile shooting vid: It was the police – sources

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 …


    1. Jason Bloomberg Silver badge

      Re: What man soweth he reaps

      The US police seem to think they live in some form of an immunity reality distortion cloud.

      It does sometimes seem that every case of police abuse follows the same pattern -

      The police department say everything was done by the book, the officers have no case to answer.

      If it goes before a Grand Jury that will decide there was no case to answer.

      If it makes it to court there will be an acquittal

      If there is a conviction the punishment will be mild.

      That is pretty close to immunity so it's not surprising cops engage in abuse when they know they will most likely get away with it.

  1. Kiwi Silver badge


    ...who seemed more interested in...that[sic] trying to convince the cop to save her boyfriend's life...

    (El Reg, your android app needs work esp copy'n'paste!)

    Bear in mind that a trigger-happy cop had just shot her boyfriend, said cop was highly excited therefore nervous therefore likely to shoot again, and said cop was ordering her to keep her hands still. I think from the footage I saw she also asked for help and got shouted down. Don't think she could've done much more and probably would also have been killed had she tried.

  2. Efros

    There is a known syndrome here in the US

    It's the "Asshole Cop" syndrome, the vast majority of police here are regular people doing their job the best they can. Then there's the Asshole Cop, he/she became a cop for all the wrong reasons, sense of empowerment, bitchin' uniform, sidearm in a holster, etc not to serve their community but to serve their ego. It's they that cause most of the fuck ups and PR disasters that PDs suffer. Every PD has at least one and every officer can tell you who they are, there doesn't seem to be any selection procedure in place to actually prevent them getting into or purge them from the system. The militarisation of the police in the US has done little to help this syndrome with many cops coming from "the service" and bringing with them the arrogance that the US military seems to instill as part of their basic training, not good for community relations or policing.I live in a small rural area in New England and I have knowledge of about 4 of the local PDs and I can identify at least 1 Asshole Cop in each of those PDs.

    1. Fatman Silver badge

      Re: There is a known syndrome here in the US

      You are on the right road, but have the 'terminology' wrong.

      The proper expression is:


      much like their feral cousins.

  3. lukewarmdog

    +1 for live streaming / storage

    Never thought I'd see a situation where I felt live streaming from my phone was going to be important. This changes my way of thinking completely.

    Also incredibly unsurprised by the sniper attack. So many people with an axe to grind against the police it's hardly surprising someone has taken the opportunity. Doesn't make it right, just another depressing aspect of gun ownership.

    1. Preston Munchensonton

      Re: +1 for live streaming / storage

      Doesn't make it right, just another depressing aspect of gun ownership

      Nothing about gun ownership gives a person the right to pull that trigger. It's like suggesting that drunk driving is somehow the ultimate result of car ownership.

      1. anonymous boring coward Silver badge

        Re: +1 for live streaming / storage

        Well.. Hate to break it to you, but you can't drive drunk if there aren't any cars.

        1. Charles 9 Silver badge

          Re: +1 for live streaming / storage

          Hate to break it to you, but there are still bikes, boats, and just plain walking, which you can't take away without putting them in a wheelchair.

          It's like with violence in general. Take away the guns and violent people just switch to knives, clubs, and bombs while the suicidal turn to vehicle impacts, self-defenestration, and poison (the three chief methods of suicide in Japan, a country with few guns, but more per capita suicides than anywhere in the west, last I checked).

          1. anonymous boring coward Silver badge

            Re: +1 for live streaming / storage

            Hate to break it to you, but drunk cycling, drunk walking and even drunk boating isn't a massive problem. Unlike drunk driving. It's the potential to kill innocent people, you see, that's the problem. A gun is really good for killing with very little effort.

            Suicide? That's not really a concern for the innocent victims, is it?

            I can string myself up, if I want to go. It's just so much harder to string up a few dozen people who resists.

  4. FuzzyWuzzys Silver badge

    X-Cops, art imitates life once more

    The shock-rock band GWAR had a little side project in the 1990s called X-Cops, which some may have heard of. It's basically a load of rock/metal songs with the band playing the parts of corrupt police officers, the songs basically glorifying state sponsored violence against members of the public. "Paddy Wagon Rape", a song about police officers picking up drunk women to haul them in but raping them in the wagon before they get to the station, the message being that "You're drunk, we're Police, who are the courts going to believe when you report us?". "My Third Leg" , a song glorifying the fact the character is so obsessed with weaponry and shooting anything he can that he even masturbates over his armory. ( There's also a very good cover of Deep Purple's Highway Star! )

    It was released shortly after the horrific case of Rodney King and at the time was well recieved by fans of the band members. We laughed at the disturbing lyrics and the nasty characters but the more reports come in these days of Police brutaity and corruption, such as this latest case, then more obvious it is that was simply art imitating true lives of a minority but very nasty aspect of the Police force in the US.

  5. kmac499

    The wrong suspect story

    Anybody see the details of the Dallas Police twittering pictures of a suspect... He wasn't one of the shooters, he was a peaceful protester. But the reason he was tagged as a suspect.

    He was carrying a rifle and wearing camouflage clothing, Lousy fashion choice maybe but taking a gun to a peace rally..

    When his brother was asked why he was carrying the answer was "Because it is his right.". It may be your legal right mate but.... words just fail me.

  6. cantankerous swineherd Silver badge

    Dallas looks to be the, ahem, well regulated militia protecting Americans against an over mighty state. was always going to happen and could get very nasty.

    alternatively, tptb could decide to go for gun control as opposed to the nra's mass shoot out.

  7. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    Media is exaggerating known facts

    Go watch Reynolds' livestream video. It DOES NOT show the shooting. It starts after that. We don't see what happened, we see Reynolds SAYING what happened.

    It IS her word against the police.

    IF it's true that the police deleted it, that's the most incriminating fact. Unless they had body cameras, the best evidence we'll get is a cop car dashcam video that the police can explain away with "he pulled a gun!"

    1. Anonymous Coward
      Anonymous Coward

      Re: Media is exaggerating known facts

      >[...] the best evidence we'll get is a cop car dashcam video [...]

      So everyone, due to technical difficulties... *nervous laughter*

      Let's face it, no matter where in the world, 99% of the police are dirty.

    2. Tom 7 Silver badge

      Re: Media is exaggerating known facts

      I think its this case that it was stated that the body cameras of both police officers 'fell off before the incident"!

  8. nsld

    So the bigger question is

    Why did Facebook call it a glitch when they will have full logs of what happened, when and from what device?

  9. moiety

    Nothing's going to improve while the police keep walking away from these sorts of things. Like the kid in the playground with a toy gun...he was just plain executed. Like that chap a few days ago who was shot in the back in (Baton Rouge?).

    Unless there's some accountability and justice being seen to be done, things are going to get very much worse.

    1. Anonymous Noel Coward

      Like that chap a few days ago who was shot in the back

      Worst case of suicide the police had ever seen.

    2. GrumpenKraut Silver badge

      > ..., things are going to get very much worse.

      I got the nagging feeling that did just happen.

      1. moiety

        TBH I'm absolutely amazed that this sort of thing hasn't happened sooner. I'm bloody astounded that officers who murder people and who get away with it haven't been targeted well before now.

        "If someone's trying to murder you, you try and murder them right back" to misquote Firefly.

  10. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    You report as fact that the gentleman was reaching for his ID when shot. What is your source for reporting this as fact?

  11. Maty

    some comparisons

    Canada has 10% of the US population and shares many aspect of a common North American culture.

    Canada has 31 guns per 100 residents, but mainly rifles. In Canada there are around 150-200 deaths from firearms per year - over 70% of which are suicides and 3% are accidents. All Canadian cops are armed Police shootings make up less than 2% of fatalities.

    In the USA there are around 11,000 deaths from firearms, of which around 60% are suicides. Guns are used in 60% of US homicides and 10% of Canadian. Whites are killed by police officers more often than blacks, but white make up around 60% of the population, blacks make up 10%.

    OTOH, apparently police officers are eight times more likely to be killed by a black gunman than a white one, which may partly account for their trigger-happiness

    1. Anonymous Coward
      Anonymous Coward

      Re: some comparisons

      >OTOH, apparently police officers are eight times more likely to be killed by a black gunman than a white one, which may partly account for their trigger-happiness

      Only 43% of offenders who killed officers since 1980 were black - according to the FBI stats - see the Washington Post Fact Checking series.

  12. John Savard Silver badge

    Action Is Needed

    If the police used her login credentials to tamper with her Facebook account, this is a violation of Facebook Terms of Service, and should also be prosecuted to the maximum extent of the law under the Computer Fraud and Misuse Act, as this clearly was not done in order to investigate a crime.

    1. Tom 7 Silver badge

      Re: Action Is Needed

      I would guess it was still all logged in when they took it from her.

  13. Zot

    I saw this link yesterday on reddit. The cop sounds completely wired AND nervous - a terrible combination to be carrying a gun!

    1. GX5000

      He'd just been forced to shoot a man who "reached" when told to keep you

      can hear him say in the video...You'd be panicked too.

      1. anonymous boring coward Silver badge

        This is all so stupid. Perhaps the person was hard of hearing? Perhaps he couldn't hear properly because he was stressed? Either way, it's all so effing stupid. GET RID OF GUNS IN YOUR GODDAM COUNTRY!

      2. mhenriday
        Boffin you can hear him say in the video...

        Only problem with that attempt to whitewash the murder, «GX5000», was that the video recording was started only after the cop had shot the victim four times, as anyone who has listened to it can confirm....

        But nice try !...


  14. GX5000


    When a PO says keep them up and you reach for "blank"......

    When you're "secured" on the ground but still trying for that weapon in your pocket....

    The less people gossip and research these stories the less sympathy and rage.

  15. Mahhn


    I have friends that I grew up with that became police, they are good people and deal with a lot of stupid people. I fear for them, they are doing a mostly thankless job that sucks for short pay and are having to expect to be shot at ALL the time. The 1% to 3% bad people that become police are not only killing people that should not be, they are getting good police shot in retaliation. This crap is bad for everyone. Anyone that thinks it's all police is stupid and part of the problem. That's like hating all musicians for kanye west, but people are dying. It's just sad for everyone.

  16. kain preacher Silver badge

    I was told this by a cop. 10% cops are bad. 20% are good. The other 70% follow the lead of the admin. in the US there if you are a cop and turn in a dirty cop are going have problems. here is an example. in Florida a state trooper pulled over a Miami cop for doing 120 she hand cuffed him and arrested him. this was posted on you tube. I saw allot of comments from so called cops saying she was wrong. it was later revealed that she got harassed so much she had to move to a desk job in anther district. She later found out that her information was access 52 times illegally. She had strange cars following her.

    1. Mahhn

      Unfortunately I see this as true depending on the department. I lived in Phoenix AZ 30 years ago and saw people beaten to near death that didn't need to be, and know of others that weren't so lucky. I was threatened similarly when wrongfully stopped one night. I left that hell hole. I live in another state now that has some of the best "social skill" training for police and it is an entirely different world.

  17. postalsusie

    Cops in Calgary dont take Cell phones as evidence

    In 2013 someone I know was found dead, and their cell phone was completely erased except for ONE i-note, with a time stamp list that later turned out to be a PUSH from bank alerts, that had been held back by a DO NOT DISTURB on the bank software.( numerous E transfers of $ OUT of the deceased account BEFORE the body was found.)

    POINT IS, Calgary cops did not see a totally erased cell phone, at the scene of a dead body, as a red flag.


    Point is even after talking to detectives over a whole year none of them had CLUE ONE about getting info from a cell phone AT ALL.

    I said " You know you have GPS and it can tell you where the deceased WAS for three days, and there is email and photos, and time stamps, and bank alerts, and photos and video that could all help you solve a crime."

    The officers IN THE FIELD have apparently NO TRAINING WHATSOEVER with gathering computer of cell phone forensic evidence.



    City of Calgary Police = total FAIL

    The bank involved? No surprise.. DENIED any breach of security to the deceased bank account.

    oh and BTW... on another case in Calgary.. the Court system DOES NOT TAKE DIGITAL EVIDENCE for examples of any kind. If you have scientific evidence, it better be PUBLISHED ON PAPER or they will not take it, no matter what the source. You need live witnesses for every single fact.

    Also, because of the Microsoft copyright WALL in regard to playing burned videos... though the video clip was done in THREE Formats ( for ease of play) NONE would play because they were burned to disc and none of the courts operating systems would recognize and PLAY it.

    thank you SO much Microsoft and Panasonic etc.

  18. This post has been deleted by its author

  19. DougS Silver badge

    Guess you might want to smash your phone

    Before the police can get hold of it, after recording something like this. If it wasn't for people sharing her video, when the cops removed it from her Facebook profile it would have been gone for good.

  20. DanceMan

    Evidence Tampering

    What are the chances we'll see charges laid against an officer for evidence tampering in regard to the attempt to delete the FB video?

    About the same as seeing any real consequences for the officer that committed this murder? By real I mean something more than a desk job or a mere firing.

  21. TimeMaster T

    Hang on ...

    Doesn't the USA have some Federal level laws about unauthorized access/use of a computer or some such that can get a person put in jail for 20-life?

    Oh, wait, just remembered the police are exempt from following the laws they are supposed to be upholding.

    never mind.

  22. Henry Wertz 1 Gold badge

    What should change?

    "That being said, an argument could be made as to which gun killed the poor guy if him having a firearm prompted the officer to shoot him."

    No the argument can't be made, there's no question the officer killed him with his gun. These types of trigger-happy officers will decide your wallet looks like a gun, a pack of smokes looks like a gun, a phone looks like a gun. A few years back locally, a police officer shot someone through the heart who was in their own art studio (at midnight) talking on the phone. Initially he claimed he thought the phone was a gun, then said he saw the door open, decided to just go in and flinched when someone was standing right there.

    Several things need to be done:

    1) This "police having other police's back" type nonsense has to go. Comradery and so on? Yeah, this is fine. Covering up for officer misconduct? This has never been a good thing, it has always tarnished reputations of departments involved (due to rumors and so on); it's now the 21st century, so these coverup attempts will be completely unsuccessful, and it won't be rumors tarnishing the department but proven fact of misconduct and coverup. (In the art studio example, there was no attempt to cover up.)

    2) Make sure officers do follow their training. Some few will just plain be dirty, and they've got to go. Some aren't "dirty" but just don't have the temperament for it, they're too high-strung. Plenty of others just don't quite follow procedure... which doesn't usually lead to any problems, until it does. (In the art studio example, the officer went in alone when procedure was to go in with backup; both for officer safety, and to keep the officers calmer (since they have backup) and so less likely to make mistakes.)

    3) The mentality. There are definitely some departments with an "us versus them" mentality; the police tend to not be respectful toward the public, the public know what they'll get interacting with the police and are not respectful either. The officers tend to be rather high-strung and nervous ("us versus them" remember); the public knows if they are stopped they'll be treated like a criminal, so they're nervous. The police are trained to be suspicious when the person stopped is nervous, so this makes them more nervous... On the other hand, there are departments that take "protect and serve" seriously, they want to reduce crime while recognizing they shouldn't interact with the general public as though they are all potential criminals. They treat the public with respect, and are (usually) treated with respect in return. It makes their job easier and less stressful, and they stress the public less. I'm happy to say, locally the local PD and the state patrol both tend to be reasonably friendly.

  23. Henry Wertz 1 Gold badge


    "IF it's true that the police deleted it, that's the most incriminating fact. Unless they had body cameras, the best evidence we'll get is a cop car dashcam video that the police can explain away with "he pulled a gun!""

    They did have body cameras; "mysteriously" they all failed.

  24. NanoMeter

    Finally a good use for clouds

    It's possible on some phones to set video recorded to be automatically uploaded to a cloud for extra safe keeping.

    1. Soruk

      Re: Finally a good use for clouds

      Just ensure that the sync settins are configured, server-side, not to honour delete requests, or at least move deleted files to a deleted area instead of actually deleting.

  25. julian.smith

    The Good News

    It's only Americans killing Americans

    Think of all of it as Species Improvement

    Better they keep their self made problems to themselves rather than inflicting it on the rest of the world via their failed interventions in other countries

    How's that Great Society working out Yankee Imperialists?

    1. GrumpenKraut Silver badge

      Re: The Good News

      > It's only Americans killing Americans

      Gasp! I have been in the US on several occasions and have met tons of great people.

  26. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    Zuck, it was a good post UNTIL the last line, where this senseless tragedy is used to indirectly promote Facebook aka "an open and connected world" Isn't that the Facebook slogan? Shame on Zuck: instead of promoting individual or corporate agenda (however indirectly), we should instead be mourning this loss and resolving to do better as individuals and communities !!

  27. mhenriday

    The «indispensable nation»

    And all this in the country that arrogates to itself the right to tell all others how they are to behave themselves and - in the event they are deemed to be incapable of effectively defending themselves - invading, plundering, and destroying them....

    Irony hardly comes in more delicious flavours....


  28. This post has been deleted by a moderator


POST COMMENT House rules

Not a member of The Register? Create a new account here.

  • Enter your comment

  • Add an icon

Anonymous cowards cannot choose their icon

Biting the hand that feeds IT © 1998–2019