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Philando Castile Verdict a Painful Result of Laws Rigged to Protect Cops


Philando Castile Verdict a Painful Result of Laws Rigged to Protect Cops

Shaun King

Just about a year ago, while riding through his hometown outside of Saint Paul, Minn., on the 4th of July, Philando Castile was racially profiled by the local police. It happened to him often. Officer Jeronimo Yanez claimed that as Castile drove past him in his car, the structure of Philando's nose reminded him of the nose of a black man he had seen in an armed robbery video.


“if cops believe their life is in danger,”

Wasn’t this also the case with George Zimmerman, and not just cops? All he had to do was lie and say he feared his life was in danger, and he was allowed to murder Trayvon Martin.


Certainly the next person that cop pulls over will be afraid for his life. Hmm. . .


In the US much of our mental life and beliefs are mythical - not real. We believe in the mythical “good cop” and that they can do no wrong and are here to “serve and protect” us. For many it doesn’t matter what logic and reason point to - we regress into the comfortable mythical state of mind. Mythical states of mind help people to do away with all kind of things that are incongruent and don’t fit their “model” of reality. It makes it easy and they don’t have to do the work of really analyzing and understanding the whole big picture. I don’t buy the whole police argument and any argument that this was not excessive force if not outright murder. If the cop was afraid, he should have backed away, got in his car and called for assistance. He was trained to take immediate action and to kill - not the slow down and back off and take time to put the thing in perspective. He obviously wasn’t in real danger - so the truth is he overreacted based on his intuition. Sorry - but that argument won’t hold up for the rest of us and it shouldn’t hold up for cops.


So, Philando had been racially profiled and pulled over 100 times in the past. He knew that he was targeted because of his skin color. If I knew I was apt to being pulled over regularly I would NOT carry any contraband or weapons in the car. Yet, Philando decided it was in his best interest to carry a firearm when driving around town.
There is always a risk to carrying a weapon. If a police officer knows you have a gun in your car he or she wonders why? When philando states he has a gun in the car and reaches towards the glove box what should the officer do if Philando is quick and an athlete with a little loaded gun in the glove box?
So, I do not carry a gun when I drive around. I treat any officer as a threat to my safety and move and speak slowly to them. We have s history of violence by officers in this country wether you like it or not. Recognize that.
It was a fatal mistake by Philando to carry a gun in his car. I am not condoning the officer or his actions but when you carry a gun legally or illegally there can be a downside to that.


I think you’re on to something here Sammie.

If there’s no one to ‘Police’ the Police, who will?



It was not Castile’s fault and I am offended that you imply that.


You’re right, policing has gone too far away from training to deescalate, to where officers instinctively go the other direction. At the request of a leader of the Presbyterian (PCUSA) Peace Fellowship, I wrote this “Prayer for Philando and Jeronimo, the latest”:

Who’s allowed to be afraid?
The peace officer who’s armed to protect,
Or the citizen with a permit and a four-year-old?

“I was scared to death,” he told the jury,
and they believed him.
Had he heard “Death, where is thy sting?”
Did he believe that death was overcome?

Fear is what kills.
Kills fathers before their children’s eyes.
Kills the human will to love.
Kills faith.
Kills joy.

For death to be overcome,
We must kill fear.
We must strip it from our hearts.

You are welcome to repost, but please identify me as the writer, Barbara Kellam-Scott. It’s also on my Facebook page and at presbypeacefellowship.org.


I work with black youth. I advise them to do whatever a police officer directs them to do-don’t argue, don’t give lip-stay alive.


You are being real. I worked with copwatch and they would have “Know your rights” seminars and I am thinking, yea - know your rights but if you are stopped they don’t necessarily mean anything. Egos with guns don’t care what your rights are - they want you to be compliant. All of this stuff just creates cycles of hate and abuse. Rights should be respected but aren’t. Some police could care less about the constitution and it takes a lot of humility on the cops part to be able to take on challenges from people. Some cops may have that ability to listen without getting their ego up -but I think it is rare. They crave respect. We give it to them but in the overall picture, they are not respected because of the kind of abuse they give out. The other thing- so many cops do not live in the communities they police and don’t really have a deep connection with the people. Politicians have a lot to blame for this mess and the fact that they have allowed police unions to have more power than the people at large.


this is what happens in an upside down, twisted world. It is all so convenient to those who abuse others.


Unfortunately, that didn’t help Philando Castile.


► Now Philando is guilty of what, exactly?

If an officer doesn’t want to ask citizens for their ID, he should join the fire dept.


The US has a corrupt judicial system. When the courts refuse to treat all those before it equally then it is corrupt from top to bottom.


Contraband implies that he had no RIGHT to have a gun. While gun having for an African American may be problematic. he was legally in the right.


This policeman was dismissed from the force–so the city recognized he did something wrong. This is a continuing tragedy and serves to make whole communities full of anger and sorrow, like they are not real citizens with rights. If the law says you, the police, have to have a reasonable fear of your own danger when YOU have stopped someone in a vehicle, just on a “suspicion”: how about training for all cops on what should reasonably constitute a reason to stop a car? And also, that, given this case, if you do kill an innocent person after an unreasonable stop, you may lose your employment. I am so sickened by this continuing murder of young black/brown men.


I was stopped once on suspicion of robbery. It was because we were driving through the town where it happened, early in the morning, in a van of the suspect color, piled full of furniture. Yes, the pretext for stopping us was that we were “following that next car [an idiot going 10 mph under the speed limit] a little too closely.” And yes, because we were a White couple, no gun was drawn (this was also 40-some years ago).

I’ve been stopped many other times on thin traffic pretexts (only one ever leading to anything substantive), especially when I drove a sleeker coupe or an SUV, and I assume it’s because, from the back, my hair looks as though it might come with a Black face. I assume that because the cops always do a double-take when they get up to the driver’s window and see my very, very pale face. Um, eh, and a couple of times, ‘Oh, I didn’t realize …’

Most of all, we have to dial back the fear on all our parts.


Exactly on all points. That’s why I say what I do…don’t give them a reason…


MN has a right to carry law.
Last time I checked, the right to carry wasn’t based on the race of the carrier.
The officer that shot Castile was deep in some kind of untrained ignorant fear.
I live in St Paul btw.


My state has a right to carry law. I do not carry. I do not want to carry. Generally people I know who do carry are right wing gun nuts. I especially would not carry if I was pulled over 100 times. The greatest threat to this young man was the police who ultimately killed him. Carrying would not help in his interactions with the police. He was black and a suspect in the officers mind. By telling the officer he was armed, he added a wildcard to a scared cop. The cop thought he was dealing with a criminal. It is only speculation, but I go not believe the officer had predetermined that he was going to kill a black guy without cause. Mistakes happen. He increased his odds of making a bad situation worse by carrying in my opinion. I sorry for the loss of life. If you want to survive you have to think of what reality is and not what you want reality to be. Common human error which causes great suffering in our species.