Facebook Live's role in officer shooting of Minnesota man

- The use of Facebook Live by the girlfriend of the man who was shot in Minnesota is allowing millions of people to witness that police interaction as it happened. Activists believe this use of technology is both necessary and inevitable.

In the moments after Philando Castile was apparently shot by police, Diamond Reynolds is calm. She is seen explaining what’s happened as she records herself on Facebook Live.

Thousands and ultimately millions were able to watch.

“I thought it was incredibly brave and powerful and it showed the state of where things are,” said activist Shaunn Cartwright.

Activists are applauding her actions. They say while recording everything from police interactions to protests has become common. The ability to broadcast live is a game changer.

Now people being able to do it immediately is incredibly powerful and it changes the dynamic. It gives the power back to the people. The citizen reporters to get the truth out there and let the people decide rather than giving people time to figure out their stories and get their ducks in a row, it's just immediate.

Tech analyst Larry Magid believes this is the wave of the future.

“Let’s face it. Just about everybody has a video camera in their pocket called a smartphone and now those are live broadcast studios.

We spoke to one law enforcement officer, off camera who believes this is more good than bad.

Still, he has concerns that people might be more focused on live streaming than on following police instructions or that it might cause angry crowds to gather in real time.

Magid says it could also bring help if needed.

“She couldn’t call 911 because it would have been answered by the very police department she was concerned about, but she could reach thousands and ultimately millions folks around the world, some of whom might have been able to respond in real time, but the rest of us can respond in our own time,” said Magid.

A Facebook spokesperson issued a statement apologizing that the video was temporarily inaccessible at one point. It apparently went down due to a technical glitch, and was later restored with a disclaimer.
 

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