Here we go again.
Another cop shooting, another black guy lay dead. The black community is seething with anger, and frustration over the death of Philandro Castile. It appears all the evidence is right there for all of us to see. The video of his death has been played over and over again on the internet. A young black woman sits in the passenger seat calmly narrating on Facebook Live that her “boyfriend” has just been shot three times, his arm shot off, as he lay dying in the drivers seat.
The police officer, still pointing his service weapon into the car is heard yelling, “I told him not to pull it out! I told him not to pull it out!”
Critics on the internet claim all the evidence is right there. Jeronimo Yanez guilty. Case closed.
What we really see is this: Philandro Castile laying back in his seat, (obviously shot) and an unidentifiable police officer standing at the driver side window pointing his service weapon at Castile. That’s about it. That’s really not “evidence”. Sure, we can make assumptions on what transpired all day long. But the video lacks the officer actually discharging his weapon, and it lacks the entirety of the traffic stop.
I’m not going to pretend that all cops are in the right all the time. And we can argue all day long that Castile followed all the laws, followed all cop directives and still got shot. But was he following all the laws? Did he follow all directives given by police? The only people who genuinely know that are the girlfriend, (who has already been called out on multiple lies she has told) and the police. Mainly Yanez, (the responding officer). The girlfriend’s credibility is tarnished as far as I’m concerned, and I’m unable to believe a word she says. So I’m siding with the cops on this one.
There have been instances where a person did follow all the orders given to them by police and still wound up shot. But most of these events involving a police shooting have been because of carelessness. Police are human, too, and are, unfortunately, imperfect. Sadly, people end up dead over these imperfections.
There his a huge racial divide in America, I’ll admit. It seems as though both sides are unwilling to come together, though. Being that Jeronimo Yanez was not caucasian really puts things in perspective. Police aren’t inherently racist, and just because a black man is shot doesn’t automatically mean it was racially motivated. Police have a tough job, especially nowadays. Traffic stops are the worst, because it’s a very unpredictable situation.
I would like to give my personal opinion on this matter. I would like to point out a few things because I am an advocate to more strict firearm laws, and education on firearms. There is a mental illness in America revolving around guns. This is a gun culture. People handle guns very carelessly in this country. Castile literally had a gun shoved into his front pocket while he was driving a vehicle and smoking marijuana with a young child in the back seat. Not only that but he had his wallet and hid firearm in the same pocket. So the confusion is: the police officer asked Castile for his identification card, saw that there was a firearm, and instructed Castile not to pull out the firearm.
Being licensed to carry is irrelevant. Minnesota being an open carry state is also irrelevant. There is one more gun law in Minnesota that has been overlooked. Minnesota has a Peaceable Journey Law. The law states that a firearm must be unloaded and cased, and the case must be secured and placed in the trunk of the car. There are a couple exceptions to this law if the firearm owner is going hunting or target practice. I could be wrong about this law as some firearms laws are hard to decipher and sometimes contradict each other. But that’s what the law reads. So although Mr. Castile was licensed to carry, he was violating the Peaceable Journey law, as well as smoking marijuana in the car, and having an firearm unsecured in the vehicle. And why couldn’t Mr. Castile buy a holster and properly secure the firearm on his hip or inside his waist band. Why do people insist on putting a loaded firearm down their pants or shoved into their pocket? That right there poses a huge safety concern for everyone riding in that car including the young child in the back seat. Furthermore, why do people not know their own state firearm laws?
It’s okay for Philandro Castile to break laws but not police.
Have a nice day, America. And remember to read up on your local gun laws.