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Nothing More to Say After Verdict in Philando Castile Death

by Todd A. Smith

 

 

Nothing More to Say


What can anyone say that has not already been said repeatedly about police brutality?


Before his untimely death at the hands of police officer Jeronimo Yanez, Philando Castile did everything the law requires a person to do when stopped by an officer.


Video released on June 21 shows that he pulled over immediately when Yanez turned his police sirens on.


Philando Castile was totally cooperative when Yanez approached his vehicle, which reportedly had a busted taillight. 


He did have a weapon, which is legal under the Second Amendment to the United States Constitution, and Castile had a permit to carry that weapon.


The slain school cafeteria worker explained to Yanez that he had the weapon, and also told him he was not reaching for the weapon before he died.


However, totally complying with the law and exercising his rights as an American citizen was not enough to save Philando Castile’s life.


His death, along with the deaths of constant other Black motorists, contradicts the notion that some have in mainstream society that if Black motorists would just obey the law and comply with an officer’s wishes, then there would be no incidents like the one that claimed Philando Castile’s young life.


What critics of the Black Lives Matter movement must realize is that while many cops are stand-up individuals and do right by the community, all cops (like all non-cops) bring their prejudices with them everywhere they go.


The Black Lives Matter movement did not develop to say that only Black lives matter.  It simply means that Black lives matter too.


The fact that the National Rifle Association (NRA) has not spoken out in support of the Castile family is mind-boggling because they supposedly stand up for Americans’ Second Amendment rights.


I guess Black Americans are excluded from their definition of Americans.


And although many people love to say that they are not racists, we all have prejudices.


Many non-Blacks still view Blacks as violent, whether that prejudice is conscious or subconscious.


And when a person has that prejudice about Blacks, and they have power and a weapon, they become the violent murderers that they claim Blacks are.


People have to realize that not saying the N-word, having Black people at your house and being Facebook friends with Black people, does not mean that they do not have racial biases against Black people.


People can only maintain a façade for a short period of time before their true colors bubble to the surface.


Furthermore, after the death of Michael Brown in Ferguson, Mo. many people believed that Black Americans needed to be held accountable for their own actions and not blame cops for the countless killings of unarmed Black Americans.


But what about the accountability of other demographics like police officers and people of other races?


Are Black Americans the only group that has to take responsibility for their actions?


Philando Castile was a very accountable person who did everything legally and respectfully, but still died at the hands of an overzealous and out of control police officer.


The court system let everyone know that Yanez did not have to be held accountable for his actions with its not guilty verdict.


Likewise, Black Americans have to learn to rid themselves of bias against other races if we want to complain about the biases that other races have against us.


But all of this has been said many times before and it does not seem to make a difference.


Black Americans beware because your life is in the hands of others every time you step outside of the house, and no amount of respect or intelligence will save your life.

This article was published on Friday 23 June, 2017.
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