In the United States, news of innocent men of dark color being murdered by “officers of the law” are becoming sickening commonplace. The latest outrage-inciting incident happened Wednesday, July 6, in St Paul, Minnesota, was live-streamed over the popular social networking app Facebook by the victim’s girlfriend before she was detained in handcuffs after an absurd level of calm cooperation from her with the armed and alarmed perpetrator.
Breaking News in Minnesota. Family pulled over and officer open fires on driver for reaching for his license. pic.twitter.com/qu6WUKRrR8
— MarQuis Trill (@6BillionPeople) July 7, 2016
What began as a reasonable and routine traffic stop for a broken tail light quickly escalated when the licenced to carry man, Philando Castile, 32 years of age, informed the officer that he was in fact in possession of a legally owned firearm, so as not to alarm the officer. He was instructed by the shooter to reach for his personal identification, at which point the officer shot him 4 times in the arm and upper torso. His girlfriend, Lavish Reynolds, was able to begin live streaming the event just after the shots had been fired, where she could be seen remaining shockingly calm while calling the officer “sir” with each sentence uttered. She calmly narrated what had just transpired and continued to comply with the officers orders while letting the world watch as her boyfriend limped to his side towards the center of the vehicle from his passenger seat, bleeding until ultimately dying several hours later after eventually being admitted to a nearby medical center.
The video was viewed on Facebook by nearly 2 million people before Facebook removed it. To their credit, Facebook restored the video with a simple warning of “graphic content” displayed before viewing. The video is sending shock waves through the nation and throughout the Internet as outrage and disgust are beginning to ferment into action. The United States will do well to let that action be positive rather than violent. The same sort of outrage boiled over into violence in the Los Angeles Riots after the Rodney King video was released in the early 90’s and nothing productive came of all that negative energy being released by the populus.
In the video, before the woman was detained in handcuffs, she can be heard saying “Oh my God, please don’t tell me he’s dead, please don’t tell me my boyfriend just went like that… You shot four bullets into him, sir. He was just getting his license and registration, sir. Please don’t tell me my boyfriend’s gone. He don’t deserve this, please. He works for St. Paul Public Schools. He’s never been in jail, anything. He’s not a gang member, anything.”
The frantic police officer can be heard shouting, “Ma’am, keep your hands where they are! I told him not to reach for it! I told him to get his hands up!” to which she replies, ““You told him to get his ID, sir, his driver’s license,” Reynolds responded. “Oh my God. Please don’t tell me he’s dead. Please don’t tell me my boyfriend just went like that.” while her 4 year old daughter sit silently in the back seat.
Presidential candidate Hillary Clinton has been active in the “Black Lives Matter” movement in America, and spoke out via Twitter regarding the incident…
America woke up to yet another tragedy of a life cut down too soon. Black Lives Matter. #PhilandoCastile -H
— Hillary Clinton (@HillaryClinton) July 7, 2016
Castile’s friends and family say he was a “good man” who worked for St. Paul Public Schools for over 10 years.
Photos Captured By Facebook LiveStream