The new dashcam footage released yesterday of the police shooting murder of Philando Castile and another painful dimension to the modern day lynching that demonstrate, yet again, that the fear of black skin can be used as a scapegoat to take black people’s lives. But additionally, that “gun rights” are, like many things, just for white people.
The new footage is the fullest account of the interaction that took Castile’s life in front of his girlfriend, Diamond Reynolds, and his young daughter. In the clip, we see Officer Yanez approach the car to tell Castile and. Reynolds, who livestreamed the shooting aftermath on Facebook, that their taillight is out. Yanez asks for proof of insurance and a driver’s license. Calmly and politely, Castile hands the former officer the insurance through the window before calmly saying, “Sir, I have to tell you I do have a firearm on me.” A firearm Castile had an open carry permit for in the state of Minnesota. In fact,
Yanez then reaches for his holster, says, in a raised voice, “Don’t pull it out!” Castile and Reynolds both reassures the officer several times that the gun is not being drawn, “I’m not pulling it out.” Cutting off the protestations, Yanez wigs out, shouts “Don’t pull it out!” once more before firing 7 shots into Castile’s body. While Yanez and his defense team claim that Castile was reaching for his gun, Reynolds says Castile was motioning to grab his license, as Officer Yanez requested in the first place.
Last Friday, Officer Yanez was acquitted of all three charges related to the shooting, including 2nd-degree manslaughter. Proving, yet again, that, to the law, the fear of black skin and suspicion of black people justifies killing us.
By Erin White*, AFROPUNK contributor
Philando Castile/Facebook and sign seen at Governor’s mansion in St. Paul. Photo by Lorie Shaull (Creative Commons)
*Erin White is an Atlanta-based writer and AFROPUNK's editorial and social media assistant. You can follow her on Tumblr or friend her on Facebook. Have a pitch or an inquiry? Shoot her an email at firstname.lastname@example.org.