As the grandmother of a young black male, I was outraged and disappointed at the verdict rendered by the jury in Minnesota in the case of Philando Castile.
For those of you who don’t watch or read the news, Philando was a 33-year-old black male who was shot at 7 times on July 6, 2016 (10 days before his birthday) by a white police officer while he was sitting in his car with his girlfriend and her four-year-old daughter. According to reports the car was pulled over because he had a wide nose like an alleged suspect in an armed robbery that had been reported earlier. After stopping the car, the officer asked him for his license and registration, at which time Philando informed the officer that he had a weapon in his possession which he was licensed to carry. As he was reaching in his pocket to show the ID, the officer “feared for his life” and shot Philando — two of the bullets pierced his heart so he had no chance of survival. The incident was recorded live on Facebook.
I just knew this was a slam dunk case! All of the evidence pointed to the fact that Philando had a legal right to carry his weapon and the officer was charged with three felonies, including second -degree manslaughter. The County Attorney even said, “I would submit that no reasonable officer knowing, seeing, and hearing what Officer Yanez did at the time would have used deadly force under these circumstances.”
But on June 16, 2017, the officer was acquitted of all charges. Every citizen who believes in equal justice under the law should be as outraged as I am. Every gun owner should be livid that this was a violation of someone’s legal rights. But surprisingly, the NRA has been relatively silent on this case. Perhaps, Philando’s race doesn’t give him the “so-called” rights as his white gun-toting NRA card carriers have.
The fact that law abiding white people haven’t chimed in on this issue leads me to believe they are in a coma. But they always appear to be in a coma when it comes to cops on black crime and they always buy into the notion that as long as a white police officer says, “I feared for my life!” that the shooting of a black man is, somehow, justifiable. But dear white people, don’t you know the whole “fear my life” attitude is just another code for racist cover-up? Let’s just get real here and call a spade a spade.
Now I am not saying all white police officers share this mentality because I do know, first-hand, that is not true. But I also know more and more members of hate groups are infiltrating police departments around the country without being fully checked out — and that means a mental health check in addition to the criminal background check. Check out this article about the infiltration: The FBI has Quietly Investigated White Supremacist Infiltration of Law Enforcement
Dear white people, it’s time to come out of your coma and allow yourself to be healed from your incorrect diagnosis of white privilege and of blacks in this country. You must be a part of the healing process. The longer you choose to remain comatose will ultimately lead to your death.
R.I.P. Philando Castile (if you can)