This is a tough week. From what I’ve read in the media, this case looked to be a pretty clear cut case of a police officer reacting horribly to what should have been a routine traffic stop. You can judge for yourself from all the available video evidence. I saw a person who behaved calm, informed the police that he had a gun, and that he was not reaching for it and was following instructions. I saw a routine traffic stop with officers almost nonchalantly approaching a vehicle they claimed during testimony that they stopped on suspicion the driver may be a criminal. I saw it unfold in seconds and go horribly sideways. What I saw I believe was preventable. And that is tragic.
This tragic event should be a wake up call to police departments across the country- if you don’t have explicit training on overcoming this bias in the line of duty, you need to fix that now. This completely avoidable event should never have happened- and if the officer hadn’t lost control of their fears, Philando Castile would still be alive. The officer involved wouldn’t be forced to re-live that moment for the rest of his life We owe it to our fellow citizens, including those officers, to get this right every time.
The jury of 12 acquitted the officer. The officer is not going to jail for it. Philando Castile is dead.
If someone informs you (the officer) that they have a concealed carry permit and are armed- that’s not to threaten you. Its actually the law in many states, its often referred to as a “duty to inform.” Even in those places where it’s not required to do so, it is specifically to be seen as polite and meant to defuse the situation so there aren’t any misunderstandings.
Unfortunately it did exactly the opposite in this case, likely because the concealed carry holder was black rather than white. And that’s tragic. And we need to do better.