I feel like lately, I’ll I see on television or in the news is death. Stories that almost seem to strange to be true. Ones I’m compelled to write about. Ones of unnecessary deaths and the aftermath that follows.
Stories like the tragic and random killing of Robert Goodwin Jr. The elderly man shot in the face by a deranged killer. A coward trying to get back at his ex-girlfriend for breaking up with him.
Most recently the murder of Manos Ikonomidis, a poor 23-year-old man, beaten and stabbed due to a false accusation of rape from a willing female participant in what ended up being a deadly threesome.
Death Of A Model Citizen
Today, after going over it in my head for the past few days, I find myself shocked, disgusted and outraged by the aftermath of a verdict handed down on June 16th. An acquittal on all charges faced by officer Jeronimo Yanez for the senseless killing of Philando Castile.
If you’re unaware, Philando Castile was shot and killed by Yanez on July 6, 2016, after being pulled over for a tail light out on his car. The Minnesota police officer pulled Castile over, who was also traveling with his girlfriend, Diamond Reynolds, and her 4-year-old daughter.
Live And In Color
The incident went viral because Diamond Reynolds made a live-streamed video on Facebook immediately after the shooting. My assumption is she did this for two reasons. One to show the injustice that just took place. And secondly to ensure that she and her child may not suffer the same fate.
Even after what she just witnessed, somehow she found the strength and courage to remain respectful and compliant with the officer who just shot her boyfriend. All while Castile lied slumped over, bleeding from his wounds and fighting for his life.
Four months later Yanez was eventually charged on three felonies counts. One count of second-degree manslaughter. Two counts of dangerous discharge of a firearm. By the way, please remember that Reynolds 4-year-old daughter was in the back of the car during all of this. Dangerous discharge is an understatement.
During the trial, the police dashcam video and audio was used as evidence of that tragic day. It clearly shows that, while talking with the officer, Castile was cooperative and even informed Yanez he had a registered firearm. However, after being asked by the officer for his license and registration, as Castile reached in his pocket for them, the officer yelled and fired somewhere near seven shots. Shots that eventually killed an innocent man.
Open And Shut Case
So you’d think, right?
The police’s own dashcam and audio verify what went down. Yanez’s defense was that he was scared, because Castile resembled another suspect police were looking for. But the truth is, when Castile reached for the documents requested of him, Yanez panicked and killed the man. Yet he is acquitted on all charges. No accountability for his actions. Nothing other than him losing his job with the St. Anthony police department. A voluntary separation, whatever that means. But he’s free to go elsewhere.
Quite frankly the statement that Castile “resembled another suspect” is simply a cop out…Yanez was scared and overreacted because Castile was black.
Members of the Castile family, were shocked and outrage at the verdict. As were many others, both black and white. Protesters marched in the streets and 18 people were eventually arrested.
Since the verdict, the dashcam and audio have now been released to the public. I for one, was speechless. I’ve included it in the post for you to hear and see for yourself. Please be warned it’s very disturbing.
How any jury could have seen this evidence and found the officer not guilty is just shameful. Sadly it’s not surprising though either. A jury recently deadlocked on the Bill Cosby case and, for the life of me, I don’t see how that is even possible.
Now, if that wasn’t bad enough, another video was released. This one including footage taken from inside Yanez’s police car where you can see and hear Diamond Reynolds’ daughter comforting her mother after the shooting. Begging her to stay calm because she was worried her mother would be shot also. No child should ever have to witness something like that.
In My Opinion
I’m not a black man and I will never truly know or feel the constant prejudice they deal with almost daily. However, I know bullshit when I see it and this is definitely a prime example of injustice.
And I want to be clear. I’m not a cop hater by any means. I respect the men and woman that risk their lives everyday to protect and serve. I absolutely believe their are good cops in this world. However, this is a case where a man, supposedly trained for instances like this, simply panicked and reacted out of fear and an innocent man died because of it.
What are your thoughts on this story. Are you outraged by this? Or do you think this verdict was correct? I’d love to hear your thoughts.