Tuesday, June 20, 2017

No exuse...

When Standard Process Goes Awry...

Philandro Castile was stopped by a police officer.  He announced to the policement that he had a carry permit. Individuals with carry permits are not required to make that announcement.  Police officers do not have online access to that information.

Asked for his license and insurance information Mr. Castile reached for them.  The officer claims to have seen a gun.  If someone says they have a carry permit it's likely you've going to see a gun.  Mr. Castile's handgun was buried deep in his right pocket.  It's unlikely that the police officer saw anything except Mr. Castile's wallet.

The officer panicked and fired seven rounds into Mr. Castile who then died.

I was  within a block of that shooting at the same time.

If I had a carry permit would I have announced it?  No.  Mr. Castile was a black man.  I am white.  Would I have been stopped for the same reason?  No.  Would the police officer have shot me seven times?  No.

Mr. Castile worked in the school cafeteria and knew the names of all the children including members of my family.  He was a decent guy who went to work each day.  

The police officer lost it.  He did not do a felony stop.  He did a traffic stop.  He failed at standard procedure and now a good guy is dead.

This is my neighborhood.    


  1. I have not had a chance to read blogs as I've been way too busy. It is fascination to read your personal observations on this. You can't just read the news you must interpret the news.
    I get into arguments with my friend at work who is a police chaplain about this sort of thing. There was an incident in our neighborhood and the story I heard from (unofficially) from the ambulance crew had a different perspective than the police spokesman.
    I believe the problem with police paranoia is in their training. It comes from higher up and from the continual conditioning they are given to respond to perceived threats with escalating violence. It is a mistaken view that you have to intimidate everyone you meet but it seems to go wrong when you have really insecure people in authority.
    If you fit a profile you have a much more difficult time with the officer. You may be black, certain type of white male, Hispanic, but if you make the wrong move you end up beat up, shot, tazed, or all the above.
    I think it is a mistake to focus only on the race issue. I watched our county officers kick the legs out from under a young white trash girl and put her face down in a plowed field. She weighed half of what the officer weighed.
    Officers are trained to use different levels of force determined by their perception of the threat. While this is a clever ploy to diffuse their guilt for shooting people, they are completely bewildered when someone takes a video of them and files a lawsuit.
    A white working class person like myself would have kept my hands on the wheel if I made the mistake of announcing my concealed carry license a nervous cop. The reason I would know is because I know people who made this mistake and survived.
    Now I am not justifying the shooting or even saying it was not racist, because I also figure the reason he got shot and not tazed was because of his race-which elevated the perceived threat level, I'm saying people need to get together and demand reform. We pay police officers to protect and serve not to shoot people.
    When noncriminals come in contact with officers they don't know what to do and things go wrong. Criminals know how to act. Us honest folk don't know the game. They should probably have a class in school on how to survive a traffic stop. When I was in high school our older white male drivers education teacher spent quite a bit of time on that subject. He also talked about profiling and how to avoid it.
    Just my opinion. It seems to make the ant-police people mad and the pro-police people mad so I suspect I'm correct.

  2. It would seem logical to announce the carry permit even though it is not required. In this case announcing it escalated the stop, probably due to profiling. A law enforcement acquaintance watched the video and said shooting was justified because Mr. Castile moved after being told not to move. The cop lost it. The City just settled with Mr. Catile's family for $3,000,000 to avoid a Federal case that would have focused on the history of profiled stops in that community. A black guy, a working guy, good w/ kids is dead because of a tail light, a little weed, an attempt at honesty and disclosure and a copy who only knew escalation. Tragic.