DC Trawler

The Philando Castile Shooting Is Indefensible

Courtesy of Ramsey County Sheriff's Office/Handout via REUTERS

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I’ve never been a police officer. I’m not going to pretend I know what it’s like. And I’m very skeptical of the Black Lives Matter folks, who tend to ignore or twist any facts that don’t fit their narrative. But after watching the dashcam footage of Minnesota police officer Jeronimo Yanez shooting Philando Castile, I don’t see how anybody can defend it.

WARNING: This is video of a man being shot. Don’t watch it if you don’t want to see it.

Yanez pulls Castile over and tells him he has a broken brake light. He asks for Castile’s license and registration. We see Castile hand over what appears to be his license. He then volunteers the information that he has a firearm in the car. Yanez tells him several times not to reach for it, and then fires into the car seven times.

I can believe that Yanez thought his life was in immediate danger. I can believe he misunderstood Castile’s statement, which I’m assuming was meant to put the officer’s mind at ease, as a threat. But then, in a matter of seconds, he’s blasting away into a car that’s also carrying a woman and a small child. It looks to me like he just snapped. He panicked.

I don’t know how a jury could watch that video and acquit Yanez. At least he’s no longer a cop. He has no business wearing a badge. But it’s not going to bring that man back, and it’s not going to help his loved ones.

The lesson here seems clear: Never volunteer any information to a police officer. Answer any questions you’re asked, promptly and calmly, but don’t say anything you don’t have to. It could have the opposite of the intended effect. And if he kills you, he’ll probably walk away.

No matter what color you are. Cops are cops. They’re human beings and they screw up just like everybody else, but unlike the rest of us, they have the power of the state behind them.

I guess this means I’m racist against Hispanics.

And now, you can go back to telling me that cops are the only ones who should have guns.