richardf8: (Ensign_Katz)
[personal profile] richardf8
I don't often weigh in on this things but this one is special.

This is the exact opposite of the Jamar Clark case.

Phil Castile's encounter with the police should NOT have been fatal.  It was, according to his girlfriend, upon whom I am relying, a routine stop for an equipment violation.

The challenge in this stop was the registered gun that Castile was legally carrying.  As I listened to Valerie Diamond's account, I placed myself  in the shoes of both Phil Castile and the officer.  I will share here what I imagine each thought, and why this ended so tragically.

Officer: License and Insurance please.

Castile: Thinks: My License is in my wallet, I have to get past my gun to get it.  If he sees the gun, he may freak.  I had best set his expectations so there are no surprises. Officer, I am carrying a registered, concealed weapon.

Officer: Oh Shit!  Dude just threatened to pull a gun on me! Put your hands in the air.

Castile: Confusion - he asked for license  and insurance, should I give him that first and then put my hands in the air?

Officer: Panic - he's reaching for his gun!  I don't want  to die! [Shoots]

This is how I imagine the encounter went.

So, would it have played out differently if Castile were white?  It's difficult to know for sure, but I do think that a white man would have had a better chance for survival in this encounter.

White privilege is real, and does result in an officer giving a white suspect the benefit of the doubt.

About a year ago an officer in Mendota Heights died from white privilege.  Again, a routine traffic stop.  The suspect was white, but also a fleeing criminal.  He killed the officer.

I do not believe for a minute that Phil Castile posed any threat to the officer, but it would not surprise me if his blackness exaggerated the officer's sense of threat.

I do not believe that the officer was out to kill a black man either.  I think he just wanted to go home at the end of his shift.  I think he panicked, and I am not sure he would have done so if the suspect was white.  Although, if he had remembered what happened in Mendota Height, race might NOT have made a difference.  Hard to know.

And this is what makes it all so tragic; a man is dead, and another is certainly guilty of manslaughter.

It sounds like Phil Castile was a good man; may his memory be for a blessing.

Date: 2016-07-08 08:31 am (UTC)
From: [identity profile] c-eagle.livejournal.com
...in which case (the panic), this person was likely not qualified in countenance to be a peace officer.

I was pulled over once by three cops in full protected gear... I was in the wrong place at the wrong time.. they had just gotten a report of shots fired...
They had guns drawn, and were a bit on edge it seemed... I got out of the car and one held me as they searched my car, then gave the nod and drove off....
There was no apology... but no panic either..

Date: 2016-07-08 04:00 pm (UTC)
From: [identity profile] deckardcanine.livejournal.com
I'm not very familiar with the Clark case, and my study isn't making it clear how you mean that it's the exact opposite.

I guess if you're ever in Philandro's shoes, you should mention the gun but never reach for it. Let the police take it if it's in the way.

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