Once again, America exposes itself for the police state that it is.
People were genuinely shocked when they saw the final moments of Philando Castille’s life, live-streamed over Facebook. Police Officer Jeronimo Yanez killed him because he was reaching for his identification. Even though Castille had just told the officer that he was licensed to carry a weapon and had one, he apparently couldn’t be trusted. The cowardly cop fired seven shots. Castille’s girlfriend and her 4-year old daughter watched him fade away. His girlfriend started streaming the event on Facebook live, in hopes that it would keep the cop from killing her as well.
In the raw video, you can hear the scared cop screaming “keep your hands where they are” while Diamond Reynolds recounts the situation. The cop is freaking out, and says “I told him not to reach for it.” Diamond responded that “you told him to get his ID, sir, his driver’s license.” And then she just says “please don’t tell me that he’s gone…”
It’s pretty clear from this video that this cop shouldn’t be placed in these situations. It’s probably true for a lot of cops, especially now that they have so little regard for the people they supposedly protect. And when a jury of 12 decides that the officer should be acquitted on all charges, it just shows me that we live in a police state. Somewhere, somehow, people forgot that cops were supposed to deal with fear and dangerous situations. We now live in a country where the safety of the police officer comes first, even if that means executing citizens who were cooperating. At this point, cops have stopped being heroes and started being oppressors. How exactly are you a hero, and worthy of obedience, when you refuse to be put into any danger?
I could leave it alone there, as it is already obvious that we live in a police state. But I have to take it a step further. The video shows you how ridiculously amped up this police officer was. The car was pulled over for a broken taillight. Maybe you don’t agree, but I don’t think this cop would have fired 7 bullets into the car if it contained a White or Hispanic family. Maybe you don’t agree, but I seriously doubt Yanez would have been acquitted of ALL CHARGES if he had fired 7 shots into a car full of White or Hispanic people.
And the worst part of all this, is seeing insecure White folks jump on social media, pre-defending against any potential racial complaint. Since the officer wasn’t White, they want to scream “hey! it wasn’t us!” They want to insist that we are in a post-racial society and even if the shooting was unjustified, it doesn’t reflect on them. However, that 12 person jury was 2 parts Black and 10 parts White. And that jury failed. It wasn’t even a murder charge. The most Yanez would have faced is 10 years in prison, which is probably less than he would have gotten if he molested a kid. You can pretend that those 10 White people made any attempt to see from the perspective of Castille, but you’d only be lying to yourself.
There have been over 500 Americans killed by police this year, so far. People should care about that. Even if they can’t find it within their strength to consider those outside their bubble.