National Rifle Association board member Ted Nugent reacted to the police shooting of Philando Castile and the mass shooting targeting police officers in Dallas, TX, by claiming President Obama wants to start a race war and by smearing Castile with an unsubstantiated report that he may have carried out an armed robbery.
Nugent made the claims during a series of Facebook posts on July 9. Reacting to the July 7 mass shooting in Dallas, TX, where a gunman reportedly angered by recent police shootings of African-Americans opened fire during a peaceful protest, killing five police officers and wounding seven more, Nugent claimed Obama wants to start a race war.
Nugent wrote Obama “wants a racewar (sic)” and that he “will go down in history as a maniac America hating freak with his fundemental (sic) transformation scam.”
An hour later Nugent “liked” a comment predicting a race war, and added his own commentary, “yeah no shit. blacks slaughtering blacks at an unprecedented rate. Blacks killed more blacks this week than the KKK has in 50yrs. braindead goofballs”:
Nugent also reacted to the July 6 fatal shooting of black motorist Philando Castile in St. Anthony, MN. Castile had a permit to carry a concealed gun and reportedly may have been trying to explain that fact to the officer who shot him. Following the shooting, the NRA was criticized for failing to comment on the shooting of a law-abiding gun owner.
In the aftermath of the shooting, it was reported that the officer who shot Castile believed that he matched the description of an armed robbery suspect, according to the officer’s attorney. There is, however, no evidence that Castile was involved in the armed robbery in question.
But Conservative Treehouse, a blog that played a key role in smearing Trayvon Martin, a Florida teenager shot and killed while out walking in his neighborhood, published an article on July 8 suggesting Castile was connected to a July 2 robbery at a convenience store.
In response to a commenter asking “why has the NRA not commented on Philando” given that Castile “was doing what any law abiding (sic) gun owners would do,” Nugent wrote, “not really” and shared the Conservative Treehouse article:
Snopes has debunked the Conservative Treehouse article, concluding, “The Conservative Treehouse article employed a series of half-truths, misleading claims, and unsupported speculation in an attempt to justify the fatal force used by an officer during a traffic stop in Minnesota. No real evidence has yet come to light supporting the notion that Castile had been involved in an armed robbery or was carrying a firearm illegally when he was killed.”
In a subsequent comment on the same thread where he smeared Castile, Nugent wrote that it was time to “oust” President Obama:
Nugent made a subsequent Facebook post that appears to allude to the circumstances surrounding the fatal shooting of Castile. The implication of Nugent's advice is that he believes Castile did not have “enuf brainmatter (sic)” to avoid being shot: