Officer in Philando Castile shooting charged with second-degree manslaughter Ramsey County, Minnesota, attorney calls death ‘not justified’ | African-American News and Black History

All Day, Black Lives Matter, Lavish Reynolds, Philando Castile -

Officer in Philando Castile shooting charged with second-degree manslaughter Ramsey County, Minnesota, attorney calls death ‘not justified’

All Day, Black Lives Matter, Lavish Reynolds, Philando Castile -

Officer in Philando Castile shooting charged with second-degree manslaughter Ramsey County, Minnesota, attorney calls death ‘not justified’

Color us surprised. The officer who shot and killed Philando Castile in front of his girlfriend, who streamed the incident on Facebook Live, will be charged with second-degree manslaughter, according to Ramsey County Attorney John Choi. According to the Minneapolis Star Tribune, it’s the first time an officer has been charged in a police-involved death since 2000.

If you don’t remember, Castile’s death was a larger wake-up call than most. As we grew desensitized to surveillance and dashcam videos of black people being gunned down with no repercussions from so-called authorities, we hadn’t seen one streamed. This particular case also happened in front of a child. We watched a man die on a camera, while his girlfriend told any and everything she could as his life was escaping him, and an officer was to blame.

There was something nakedly poetic about this particular case. What was the excuse going to be this time? There are a million reasons that officers get off scot-free in these situations, but with Castile, the circumstances were so plain that even the officer who shot him couldn’t help but react with regret at the time. He cursed multiple times at himself, asking Castile why he moved at all. Diamond Reynolds reminded the officer that he asked Castile to get his wallet. The video was a groundbreaking occurrence in the entire Black Lives Matter movement, and Reynolds was a pioneer.

Mind you, all of this was over a broken taillight.

Castile was a cafeteria supervisor at an elementary school. His death was tragic. Even in the explanation, Choi’s words are so measured, so precise and so specific that you wonder just what the straw was that led to the charges. This is typically the language we hear when grand juries or prosecutors don’t find reason to charge. This time, it just went the other way. If we’re being honest, the presence of the child was likely the tipping point. You just can’t fire a gun at someone with a 4-year-old in the backseat. Even if she’s ultimately the one who shows the most humanity in the scenario. Jeronimo Yanez is the officer’s name.

A charge is one thing. A conviction is another. Minnesota, as a place, is a third. Depending on your judgment, justice has yet to be reached. But accountability has been established on some level. Which, considering, is progress.


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