The police officer who shot and killed Philando Castile in Minnesota has been completely acquitted—many folks are livid.
This can be understandable if you watch the footage Mr. Castile’s girlfriend, Diamond Reynolds, recorded; but when seen from another angle, the whole narrative changes.
The dashcam footage on Officer Jeronimo Yanez’s squad car was one of the deciding factors in the officer’s acquittal, as it was played numerous times to jurors who all unanimously deemed Officer Yanez innocent.
— rolandsmartin (@rolandsmartin) June 20, 2017
In the video, Mr. Castile alerted Officer Yanez that he had a firearm on him. Officer Yanez then told Mr. Castile not to reach for the gun and repeated it a few times.
Mr. Castile then proceeded to reach for the gun or at least in the vicinity of the gun. Fearing for his life, Officer Yanez fired seven shots at Mr. Castile, who said softly when the gunshots stopped. “I wasn’t reaching.”
Officer Yanez holds the notion of Mr. Castile reaching for his gun and Castile also matching the description of a suspected robber from a few days ago. However, Ms. Reynolds said her boyfriend was simply reaching for his driver’s license.
Now, there are still a lot of blind spots in the video, and we can’t really say for sure if Officer Yanez was wrong for shooting Mr. Castile. I mean, we all know just because it was a police killing involving a black man, the officer will always be seen as the bad guy. But if Mr. Castile had shot Officer Yanez, we probably wouldn’t have heard a “peep” about it. People wouldn’t be talking about Officer Yanez or writing long and meaningful posts about him. It’s sad but true.