FacebookTwitterGoogle+RedditEmail

Savage Calculations: On the Exoneration of Philando Castile’s Killer

Photo by Fibonacci Blue | CC BY 2.0

This is an absolute outrage. This action. This video. This verdict. Shame on the jury and all who enabled their cruel, inhuman decision.

Philando Castillo had a license to carry, his girlfriend and her child in the car, his seatbelt fastened, and even addressed this killer cop calmly and politely as “sir,” volunteering the information that he had a firearm in the vehicle after being pulled over for a broken fucking brake light. He clearly wanted to avoid any confusion that could lead to violence. (The dash-cam video proves it.)

But all that didn’t keep this paranoid cop “protector” from unloading his gun clip into Philando like he was lower than a rabid dog. Castile’s girlfriend, Diamond Reynolds, showed amazing courage in taking FB Live video even after this screaming killer waves a gun in her face. Without her, this whole case may not have received the national attention it has. (How many similar killings never see the light of day because they aren’t caught on tape?) She is a hero.

This cop however –and any cop who acts like this, shooting first and asking questions later, treating others’ innocent lives as if they matter less than the cops own –is a coward, as well as a killer. Such shoot-first cowardice gives the lie to all the cop-worshipping bullshit we get force-fed in this country. You know, that stuff about the police being selfless protectors of public safety who put their lives on the line every day for the sake of others.

If our “public protectors” were genuine servants of the people– instead of enforcers of an oppressive racist apartheid capitalism–wouldn’t they be willing to take the (infinitesimal) risk of suffering harm themselves rather than absolutely and forever ending the life of an innocent man, or woman, or child? Wouldn’t real “heros” be willing to die before killing the innocent?

The savage calculation this killer cop made in this sick instant was that the 1% (0.1%? 0.001%?) risk that Philando might “try something”–despite giving *every indication* to the contrary–outweighed the near 100% chance of death and lifelong family suffering that would result from murdering him where he calmly sat. (And now the jury has validated that savage math.)

And you betcha that that risk calculation is twisted by race and class prejudice as well. It is much less likely that Officer Yanez (or the jury) would have de-valued the life of a white or a wealthy-looking driver in the way he did here. And much less likely that Yanez would have leaped to the assumption that a white or wealthy person would “try something”–despite all evidence to the contrary. Which only goes to show who it is that the police force is actually there to serve, and who it’s there to harass, dehumanize, and brutalize.

No individual–cop, cowboy, or custodian– who walks around with such racist and murderous equations in their head has any business carrying a gun and a badge.

Next time some young man is put in Philando Castile’s position, could you blame him if he tries to flee? To speed away? To take off on foot? Or even…to pull a Django rather than be shot down like a dog?

When cops act like an occupying army, can you blame people if they begin to treat them like one?

25 years ago, Los Angeles burned for less than this.

It’s almost like the police are working to provoke the very kind of violence that they claim to prevent.

If the revolt this time isn’t nationwide, heaven help us, I don’t know why.

Please people, all of us, we must do all we can to make this barbarism a thing of the past. To end this racist and murderous military style policing. To hold killers and their trainers and enablers accountable. To unite with the families and existing mass organizations that have long been fighting to an end to police brutality and racist murder. There is a long struggling movement against killer cops–let us join it.

Together, let us do all we can to make the rebellion-that-must come a disciplined, targeted insurgency, a radical and strategic uprising, flanked by comrades and allies from every hue of humanity. For while this murderous police violence disproportionately targets the poor and non-white, it demands a morally outraged response from every decent human being.

It was Philando Castile’s life that was ended on July 6, 2016, but it is *all* of our humanity that is on the line today.

Let us raise the call, wherever we are: Disarm the police! & Convict killer cops!–of cowardice as well as the slaughter of the innocent.

From the courtrooms to the streets, let us shake this corrupt system until it gives us justice FOR ALL… or else comes apart against the force of our fists.

More articles by:
Weekend Edition
September 21, 2018
Friday - Sunday
Paul Street
Laquan McDonald is Being Tried for His Own Racist Murder
Brad Evans
What Does It Mean to Celebrate International Peace Day?
Alexandra Isfahani-Hammond
Hurricane Florence and 9.7 Million Pigs
Nick Pemberton
With or Without Kavanaugh, The United States Is Anti-Choice
Andrew Levine
Israel’s Anti-Semitism Smear Campaign
Jim Kavanagh
“Taxpayer Money” Threatens Medicare-for-All (And Every Other Social Program)
Jonathan Cook
Palestine: The Testbed for Trump’s Plan to Tear up the Rules-Based International Order
Jeffrey St. Clair
Roaming Charges: the Chickenhawks Have Finally Come Back Home to Roost!
David Rosen
As the Capitalist World Turns: From Empire to Imperialism to Globalization?
Jonah Raskin
Green Capitalism Rears Its Head at Global Climate Action Summit
James Munson
On Climate, the Centrists are the Deplorables
Robert Hunziker
Is Paris 2015 Already Underwater?
Arshad Khan
Will Their Ever be Justice for Rohingya Muslims?
Jill Richardson
Why Women Don’t Report Sexual Assault
Dave Clennon
A Victory for Historical Accuracy and the Peace Movement: Not One Emmy for Ken Burns and “The Vietnam War”
W. T. Whitney
US Harasses Cuba Amid Mysterious Circumstances
Nathan Kalman-Lamb
Things That Make Sports Fans Uncomfortable
George Capaccio
Iran: “Snapping Back” Sanctions and the Threat of War
Kenneth Surin
Brexit is Coming, But Which Will It Be?
Louis Proyect
Moore’s “Fahrenheit 11/9”: Entertaining Film, Crappy Politics
Ramzy Baroud
Why Israel Demolishes: Khan Al-Ahmar as Representation of Greater Genocide
Ben Dangl
The Zapatistas’ Dignified Rage: Revolutionary Theories and Anticapitalist Dreams of Subcommandante Marcos
Ron Jacobs
Faith, Madness, or Death
Bill Glahn
Crime Comes Knocking
Terry Heaton
Pat Robertson’s Hurricane “Miracle”
Dave Lindorff
In Montgomery County PA, It’s Often a Jury of White People
Louis Yako
From Citizens to Customers: the Corporate Customer Service Culture in America 
William Boardman
The Shame of Dianne Feinstein, the Courage of Christine Blasey Ford 
Ernie Niemi
Logging and Climate Change: Oregon is Appalachia and Timber is Our Coal
Jessicah Pierre
Nike Says “Believe in Something,” But Can It Sacrifice Something, Too?
Paul Fitzgerald - Elizabeth Gould
Weaponized Dreams? The Curious Case of Robert Moss
Olivia Alperstein
An Environmental 9/11: the EPA’s Gutting of Methane Regulations
Ted Rall
Why Christine Ford vs. Brett Kavanaugh is a Train Wreck You Can’t Look Away From
Lauren Regan
The Day the Valves Turned: Defending the Pipeline Protesters
Ralph Nader
Questions, Questions Where are the Answers?
Binoy Kampmark
Deplatforming Germaine Greer
Raouf Halaby
It Should Not Be A He Said She Said Verdict
Robert Koehler
The Accusation That Wouldn’t Go Away
Jim Hightower
Amazon is Making Workers Tweet About How Great It is to Work There
Robby Sherwin
Rabbi, Rabbi, Where For Art Thou Rabbi?
Vern Loomis
Has Something Evil This Way Come?
Steve Baggarly
Disarm Trident Walk Ends in Georgia
Graham Peebles
Priorities of the Time: Peace
Michael Doliner
The Department of Demonization
David Yearsley
Bollocks to Brexit: the Plumber Sings
FacebookTwitterGoogle+RedditEmail