An Amerikkkan Trend: Officer Kills Black Civilian - Acquitted

By: Phelicia Ball

 photo via  Time Magazine

photo via Time Magazine

On June 16, 2017, a unanimous decision was made by the Minnesota jury considering the case of Philando Castile, who was gunned down by Minnesota police officer, Jermonimo Yanez. The decision was one that many of us could’ve assumed—Jeronimo Yanez was acquitted of second-degree manslaughter charges in the death of a son, boyfriend, and a BLACK human being. Is anyone else excessively disgusted by the sight of the word “acquitted”?! I never thought that during my lifetime I would have to endure this pitiless word so frequently. It’s obvious, our system is ruthless and unapologetic for their prejudices and partisanship.

Don’t quite remember exactly what happened in the case of Castile? I get it, we are hit with a new name of a Black male or female who was been killed by police daily. The fact of the matter is that there is a distinct trend in the lack of respect for the lives of Blacks in this country, and each and every single case deserves renowned attention and JUSTICE.

 photo via  The Gawker

photo via The Gawker

Become familiar with the 62 second encounter between Yanez and Philando before his life was taken by the firing of Amerikkka’s most vigorous genocide. The transcript is available via CNN:

9:05:00 p m. — Castile’s vehicle came to a complete stop.

9:05:15 – 9:05:22 p.m. — Yanez approached Castile’s car on the driver’s side.

9:05:22 – 9:05:38 p.m. — Yanez exchanged greetings with Castile and told him of the brake light problem.

9:05:33 p.m. — St. Anthony Police Officer Joseph Kauser, who had arrived as backup, approached Castile’s car on the passenger’s side.

9:05:38 p.m. — Yanez asked for Castile’s driver’s license and proof of insurance.

9:05:48 p.m. — Castile provided Yanez with his proof of insurance card.

9:05:49 – 9:05:52 p.m. — Yanez looked at Castile’s insurance information and then tucked the card in his pocket.

9:05:52 – 9:05:55 p.m. — Castile told Yanez: “Sir, I have to tell you that I do have a firearm on me.” Before Castile completed the sentence, Yanez interrupted and replied, “Okay” and placed his right hand on the holster of his gun.

9:05:55 – 9:06:02 p.m. — Yanez said “Okay, don’t reach for it, then.” Castile responded: “I’m… I’m … [inaudible] reaching…,” before being again interrupted by Yanez, who said “Don’t pull it out.” Castile responded, “I’m not pulling it out,” and Reynolds said, “He’s not pulling it out.”

Yanez screamed: “Don’t pull it out,” and pulled his gun with his right hand. Yanez fired seven shots in the direction of Castile in rapid succession. The seventh shot was fired at 9:06:02 p.m. Kauser did not touch or remove his gun.

9:06:03 – 9:06:04 p.m. — Reynolds yelled, “You just killed my boyfriend!”

9:06:04 – 9:06:05 p.m. — Castile moaned and said, “I wasn’t reaching for it.” These were his last words.

9:06:05 – 9:06:09 p.m. — Reynolds said “He wasn’t reaching for it.” Before she completed her sentence, Yanez screamed “Don’t pull it out!” Reynolds responded. “He wasn’t.” Yanez yelled, “Don’t move! F***!”

Thoughts?

Let’s start with the fact that Castile did exactly what Yanez asked—to provide him with his proof of insurance and license. Castile handed the officer his proof of insurance and before getting his license out, he politely informed him that he did have a firearm on him. Instead of asking for a gun license or perhaps any proof of such a license, Yanez’s first thought was to fire shots at Castile SEVEN times in front of his girlfriend.

During the trial, Yanez claimed that he was fearful for his life. My question is, why would Castile let the officer know he had a fire arm if he wanted to harm him?! If he wanted to shoot the officer he would’ve done it, but he didn’t—instead he was gunned down for doing the right thing. How does a broken tail light lead to the death of an innocent man? Policing has become a destructive routine based on conquest. Through the lens of Amerikkka, being Black is enough to take a life.

Enough is enough. 

 photo via  Twitter.com

photo via Twitter.com

The thought of being pulled over by a police officer is just fearsome and unmoving. In the eyes of the police, it doesn’t matter whether you do what is asked or not. Police brutality has become an endless cycle leading to an even greater use of violence by police as more and more officers are acquitted. Police are marked as innocent civil servants that do no wrong, while Black communities are treated as the enemies of society and subjected to criminality. Who are the police actually protecting and serving?

How many more Black bodies to be shot by the very system that told us we will be afforded the Amerikkkan Dream? This is the country that taught us as young children while reciting the lies of the pledge of allegiance, that there is liberty and justice for all. Liberty and justice for who, Amerikkka? What justice? If liberty and justice existed for my Black brothers and sisters like you say, more of us would be existing on this very land; occupying spaces with opportunities, resources, receiving a valuable education, and living the Amerikkkan Dream we were promised. We see bullets before we see freedom. How many more sleepless nights Amerikkka?

You will not forget their names.  

Phelicia BallComment