The National Rifle Association repeatedly came under criticism for maintaining total silence during the Philando Castile shooting case, and now the organization has finally revealed why it didn’t speak up in Castile’s defense.
“He was also in possession of a controlled substance and a firearm simultaneously, which is illegal,” Loesch explained.
The 32-year-old Castile’s death garnered national headlines earlier this past July when his girlfriend filmed his fatal encounter with police and posted it online. The video showed that Castile was complying with the officer’s commands, and that he had informed Officer Yanez that he was carrying a gun on him so the officer wouldn’t be alarmed if he spotted it.
When Castile then reached for his wallet to present his identification, the officer opened fire on him. Last month, the officer who shot Castile was charged with second-degree manslaughter.
Given that Castile was licensed to carry his firearm — and given that a subsequently released dashboard camera video showed Yanez behaving very impulsively during the incident — many assumed the NRA would make a public statement condemning the officer’s actions.