A National Rifle Association spokeswoman said the comments she made this week on the death of Philando Castile, a black man killed by police after disclosing he had legal concealed weapon during a traffic stop, was the organization’s official stance.
“ILoesch made the appearance to defend comments she made in an NRA membership video against critic Tamika Mallory, president of the Women’s March, who appeared alongside her on CNN. Mallory had penned a letter asking the NRA to retract Loesch’s video because it “appear(s) to be a direct endorsement of violence” against people, especially those of color, for exercising their right to free speech. She also requested the NRA, as a civil rights organization, defend Castile’s Second Amendment rights and demand justice for him.
Shortly after the incident last July, the NRA as an organization released an official statement calling Castile’s death “troubling” and that it would “have more to say once all the facts are known.” Loesch has been the only NRA representative to give an official statement since then.
Yanez said he thought Castile was a robbery suspect when he stopped the vehicle. Castile informed Yanez that he had a legal concealed weapon and began reaching for his wallet, but Yanez mistakenly thought Castile was reaching for a gun, so he opened fire.