The polices’ war on the people continues. This time a supposedly broken taillight initiated a series of events that ended in another black man’s execution. What makes this situation stranger is that the victim, Philando Castile, supposedly held a valid carry permit and was legally armed. Supposedly Castile had his hands on the steering wheel and informed the officer that he had a valid carry permit and was armed. At that point the officer is said to have demanded his identification and permit. When Castile moved his hands to comply with the officer’s demand the officer shot him:
A St. Paul man died Wednesday night after being shot by police in Falcon Heights, the immediate aftermath of which was shown in a video recorded by the man’s girlfriend as she sat next to him and which was widely shared on Facebook.
The girlfriend said on the video that the officer “asked him for license and registration. He told him that it was in his wallet, but he had a pistol on him because he’s licensed to carry. The officer said don’t move. As he was putting his hands back up, the officer shot him in the arm four or five times.”
The video shows a uniformed police officer holding a pistol on the couple from outside the car. The officer can be heard to say, “I told him not to reach for it. I told him to get his hand out.”
The video, unfortunately, only shows the aftermath of the shooting. But based on the officer’s statements in the video it’s clear Castile didn’t pose an immediate threat as he didn’t have a weapon in hand. Was he shot because the officer gave conflicting orders or because he failed to get into a submissive position fast enough? We can’t be sure but neither act is worthy of execution.
It’s also important to note that both the woman recording the video, Diamond Reynolds, and a young girl, assumed to be Reynolds’ 7-year-old daughter, were in the car when the officer shot Castile. Even when it was clear that Castile was incapacitated the officer aimed his gun into the car again when he was yelling at the camera claiming he told Castile not to reach for his permit. The officer appears to have no concern for the safety of the bystanders, which should give everybody cause for concern.
Finally, as if the officer was purposely trying to make the situation as bad as possible, Reynolds is ordered out of the car, handcuffed, and kidnapped. Why was she kidnapped? If I were to hazard a guess it was because she was collecting evidence that could incriminate the trigger happy officer who is probably desperate to sweep this entire matter under the rug.
While there are some questions regarding the events that lead up to the shooting we do know that Castile is dead because an officer claimed to have seen a broken taillight. Let that sink in. A man was killed because a pathetic municipal revenue generator either saw or fabricated a chance to write a citation for a few bucks. There is no justification for executing a man over a few dollars. Every law is a death threat.