Within a week crimes involving fatal shootings were captured and displayed online via Facebook Live. The idea of broadcasting crimes or capturing murders is becoming a norm to the social media platform.
Earlier this year, four teens were denied bail for their role in a torture of a special needs male. During their live feed, they are seen berating the victim and shouting hateful slurs and their dislike for President Donald Trump. Other acts in the stream include the suspects making the victim drink toilet water and cutting off pieces of his hair with a knife.
Recently, documented gang member Lazarec Collins and 2-year-old Lavontay White Jr. were fatally shot during a Facebook Live post also leaving a pregnant female in critical condition. The woman was recording the video at the time. The beginning of the video shows all three riding around the neighborhood listening to rap music while the male is wearing a hoodie and a hat displaying hand gestures minutes before the shooting.
In the Dominican Republic, radio show host Luis Manuel Medina and one other were killed while doing a facebook live post when the gunman came into the studio and opened fire.
The first notable shootings include Brian Fields who was shot standing on the street corner by a food mart and the fatal shooting of Antonio Perkins later that year.
The shooting of Collins, Perkins, and Fields have been reported to be the effects of a growing trend known as “Cyber Banging“, the act of antagonizing rival gang members online. This includes posting videos of recent events, members flashing hand signs, and displaying weapons. Members in the torture video were noted as repeating the word “gang” as they continued the assault.
Crimes that are streamed on Facebook, excluding Medina, are coming from the city of Chicago where the city has seen a spike in murder in January with nearly 299 shootings compared to 2016 with 292.
After it’s launch in August 2015, Facebook live has followed the likes of other social media streaming sites such as Periscope and YouTube but has now gained a reputation for capturing crimes in real time.