On June 21, 2017, Philando Castile shooting dashcam video was released, a few days after the police Jeronimo Yanez walked out free from the court. In the video the shooting happened in split second and there were seven shots fired in less than half minute. It’s devastating to see a calm situation suddenly turned into a tragic ending and a life was taken by a weapon that once threatened the police to open fire by the same weapon he feared.
There’re several factors that lead to this fatal shooting-
First of all, misunderstanding takes place while two parties encountered and one gave judgement right away after he learned that the other party has a firearm. Communication wasn’t effective when Yanes was blinded by the word “gun” that to some degree it represents the equal power the other party has. Yanes asked for Castile’s ID, and Castile told him that he has a weapon. After that he tried to get his license and Yanez thought that he was pulling out of his gun. From Castile’s point of view he didn’t think his weapon is a threat to the police since he has permit of owning one. As Yanez, he saw Castile saying he have a gun is a warming and he didn’t know what would come next. Under the circumstance that he feared Castile was pulling out his gun to shoot him he pulled the trigger first to declare the authority is on his side.
And who give him the authority to shoot an innocent person? Prejudice and racism like a curse taking place on the split second while ending a life. Yanez claimed he smoked marijuana when he approaching the car, but does smoking marijuana terminate a life? I guess it’s when it happens to a black person because big amount numbers of people smoke weeds in this country no matter white or brown or black. The police knows that and the moment he decided to open fire is because he didn’t think Castile is a “good” person since he smoked in front a kid. Also he thought Castile was a robbery suspect. And what’s the robbery suspect assumption based on? His skin color. Because obviously he is not a criminal and people who have little understanding certain race thought certain skin color people look the same. They use racial filtering to put sentence to someone they first saw. When you go on the street and saying that someone looks like some criminal please have second thought about it. Is your prejudice and racism acting up on you?
Thirdly, police need to face lots of hassle situations daily please learn how to handle it without killing people’s life to end your nervousness. If you don’t have the ball to face someone who has gun please don’t be a policeman. Don’t you know that the nation promotes gun ownership by NRA? Don’t you know that some people having gun is for self protection? If you act nervously around people you don’t know and use your power as a cop to end this nervousness please don’t be a cop. Yes police life matters but when you have the power, you have the chance to shoot people no matter they are innocent or not and eventually walk out free, are you still acting upon your nervousness? Wouldn’t you question your judgement? Yes you are facing criminals all the time, but half of time you are facing innocent people like Castile who just had a brake light out. If you said you had feared of your own life, you put your life above others. Because the people in the car might be more scared than you were since you are the authority as a policeman. As a result they wouldn’t be acting normally they would be as nervous as you are, or maybe more. And when you already ended an innocent life please don’t wear a “police life matters” bracelet on you because no on has ever threatened you only your own fear in that case. Please don’t feel proud of yourself after your ended a life and claim you were innocent and shot someone just because you were scared.
“Fear for one’s life” arrives on everyone whose car got stopped by a police, mostly African Americans. The same phase is not for someone who fired seven shots acting upon split judgement and walked out free. If this society keeps letting police abuse their power on what they claim is “fear” but ignore the other innocent people’s fear, anger and chaos will fill up the consequence of massive protest which will continue to affect the “stability of the society” that the police once wanted, and the society will continue to be more divided because of the other side of the voice hasn’t been heard, the other side of life never got respected.