The Week on Twitter | Alton Sterling, Philando Castile, Dallas, & Chilcot

This week, two more black men – Alton Sterling and Philando Castile – were shot dead by police officers in America. Their deaths, which were recorded and shared on social media, led to nationwide protests by Black Lives Matter activists. It was at one of these demonstrations in Dallas that five police officers were killed by a number of snipers who had positioned themselves above the crowd. The shooting was the deadliest attack against the US police force since 2001.

The last seven days also saw a couple of resignations in the form of Nigel Farage and Chris Evans, and the publication of the Chilcot report.

#AltonSterling shot dead for selling CDs #BlackLivesMatter

On Tuesday morning, Alton Sterling was shot dead by police officers in Baton Rouge. The 37 year old had been selling CDs outside of a Food Mart when police received an anonymous phone call stating that Sterling was brandishing a gun in the parking lot. Upon arriving at the scene, officers pinned Sterling to the ground and shot him five times.

Footage taken by Abdullah Muflahi, the Food Mart’s owner, showed that Sterling had been tasered before being shot. The video was uploaded soon after the incident and led to an influx of support and activity within the Black Lives Matter movement, and a renewed condemnation of police brutality against black men and women in the States. According to Muflahi, Sterling had not attempted to use his gun against the police officers during the attack.

#PhilandoCastile shot dead at traffic stop in Minnesota #BlackLivesMatter

The next day, following a routine traffic stop in Minnesota, Philando Castile was shot and killed. Castile, his girlfriend Diamond Reynolds, and her four year old daughter were stopped by a police officer in Falcon Heights due to a broken light on their car. Upon being asked for his license, Castile informed the officer that he was carrying a gun, but that he was only reaching into his pocket for his wallet. He was shot four times and died at the scene.

A video recorded and uploaded to Facebook just moments after the shooting shows Reynolds being handcuffed and forced to kneel on the ground. Speaking at a rally the next day, she stated that her and her daughter had been treated like criminals, and that the other officers who arrived at the scene chose to comfort the man who had fired the shots instead.

The deaths of both men who posed no imminent threat to the US police force led to protests, rallies, and vigils all across America.

Five police officers killed by snipers at Black Lives Matter protest in #Dallas

On Thursday evening during a Black Lives Matter protest following the deaths of Sterling and Castile, five police officers were killed. According to witness reports and activists at the scene, at least two snipers positioned in buildings above the crowd opened fire on police just before 9pm.

Among those killed were DART officer Brent Thompson, and four Dallas Police Department officers. Upon apprehending one of the gunmen, Police Chief David O. Brown announced that the sniper had stated “the end was near” and that more officers would die.

Mark Hughes, an innocent protester was initially accused of being involved in the attack when the DPD released a photo of him claiming that he was a suspect. Hughes was eventually released when it was revealed he had had no involvement in the attack.

There are currently three suspect shooters in custody. Another shooter is reported to have killed himself following the attack.

#NigelFarage and #ChrisEvans resign, as post-#Brexit carnage continues

On Monday, UKIP leader Nigel Farage and Top Gear host Chris Evans both decided to resign. In what was arguably the worst thing to happen in the UK since whatever happened a few hours before (probably), thousands were left mourning a racist/ginger shaped hole, depending on who they were sadder over.

In Farage’s case, he decided to step down as UKIP leader because he had accomplished all he set out to do in the form of destroying the lives of millions of young people residing in the UK and being a massive hateful prick. Oh, and also because he wanted to spend some time with his family, or something.

For Evans, it was simply because he didn’t make Top Gear very good at all. However, this statement was released soon after allegations being investigated by police that he sexually assaulted a woman in the 90s came to light. Evans has since denied these claims.

#ChilcotReport concludes Saddam Hussein was not a threat to the UK

This week, Sir John Chilcot’s independent inquiry into the UK’s involvement in the Iraq war in 2003 was published. The report, which is 12 volumes and 2.6 million words long, covers the events leading up to the Iraq invasion, the war itself, Britain’s involvement, and the overall aftermath of Blair’s decision to send troops to Iraq.

The report states that the Iraq war had not been necessary in 2003, and that Saddam Hussein had not posed any threat to Britain. It also contains private messages sent from Blair to Bush in the lead up to the war – one of which reads “I will be with you whatever.”

Following the inquiry’s publication, Blair released a statement claiming that he felt “deeply and sincerely (…) the grief and suffering of those who lost ones they loved in Iraq,” but that he still believed going to war had been the right decision. Families of deceased British soldiers responded to the ex-PM’s statement by calling him a war criminal and “the world’s worst terrorist.

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