If you read these pages, I assume you’re familiar with the fatal shooting of concealed permit holder Philando Castile by Saint Anthony, Minnesota Officer Jeronimo Yanez, and the officer’s subsequent acquittal on manslaughter charges. Being a certified Old Fat White Guy, some might wonder why I have a dog in this fight. The answer is simple; I live and carry (openly and concealed) less than 10 miles from where the shooting occurred.

I regularly drive through Saint Anthony on my way to and from work, shopping, doctor appointments, etc., and I have had my own “moment of interest” about 10 years ago with the St. Anthony PD. My experience had the officers being quite polite and professional, their chief, however was more of a PITA.

But enough about me. I’m here to talk about the monumentally fucked fouled-up situation that occurred on the corner of Larpenteur Avenue and Fry Street, and the mistakes made on both sides that led to the unnecessary death of one man and the ruination of another man’s life.

A Facebook friend of mine commented on the Officer Yanez’s acquittal, saying simply, “There are no words.” I disagree. There are words, very important ones. Words which every Minnesota permit to carry class I have taken and every forum discussion about getting pulled over by the cops while carrying I have seen all agree should NEVER pass your lips. Those fateful words, uttered by Philando Castile: “Sir, I have to tell you that I do have a firearm on me.”

It doesn’t matter how respectful Mr. Castiel was being, or how calmly he said those words. I guaran-damn-tee you, what the cop heard was “I’ve got a gun.”

But there were other words in this encounter, too. Very important words, words which were the flat-out lie spoken by Officer Yanez’s when he approached Mr. Castile. Officer Yanez said, “The reason I pulled you over – your brake lights are out.”

The truth of the matter, as Officer Yanez told dispatch just before pulling Castile over, was “The two occupants just look like people that were involved in a robbery. The driver looks more like one of our suspects.” So on the one side, you have a law-abiding gun owner who believes he’s just been pulled over for a fix-it ticket. On the other side, you have a police officer who believes the man he’s pulling over is possibly an armed robber. This is quite simply a recipe for disaster.

Would Mr. Castile have behaved differently if he thought that the officer suspected him of being a wanted criminal? We will never know, but his complete lack of concern for Officer Yanez’s safety probably cost him his life. I know, someone in the back is saying “Whaddaya mean Officer Yanez’s safety? It was Castile who ended up bleeding out live on Facebook!” However, according to the FBI’s LEOKA[1] circumstances page, from 2006 – 2015 there were 491 officers “feloniously killed”[2] and of those, 54 officers (almost 11%), were killed during routine traffic stops.

So yes, whenever you are pulled over by a cop you should keep the officer’s safety in mind. That being said, what could Philando Castile have done differently?

Since I am a bit of a lead-foot, I’ve been pulled over while armed at least a half-dozen times. Each time I have done basically the same thing; if it’s at night, I turn on the dome light, I roll down the window, I turn off the ignition and put the keys on the dash. I raise my hands above my shoulders (sometimes I even stick them out the window), fingers spread wide, so the officer can clearly see that I don’t have a weapon in my hands. My best friend growing up was a cop in New York City for over 25 years, and he said that on traffic stops, cops just love, love, love to see your hands.

When the officer arrives and asks to see my license, I will tell him “officer, just so you know, I do have a Minnesota permit to carry, and I am/am not carrying at this time.” Notice that I never utter the words gun or firearm; I do this to avoid triggering the adrenaline dump that most cops experience when they hear that.

Then, if I’m carrying, I tell him where my gun is located (usually in a shoulder holster in my left armpit) and where my wallet is located. When reaching for my wallet I move slowly, keeping one hand on the steering wheel, and I remove my wallet equally slowly.

I rest my wrists on the steering wheel to remove my license so that the officer doesn’t have to worry about what might be between my legs or under my seat. Whenever I reach for something in the car, I tell him where it’s located and only use one hand, always leaving the other gripping the wheel, and always moving slowly.

Is this overkill? Probably, but this isn’t an ideal world where everyone respects others’ rights and no one initiates force, so I’m willing to go out of my way to smooth things along.

Enough about Mr. Castile’s mistakes. What about Officer Yanez’s mistakes?

The truly glaring error that comes to my mind is that he never actually made up his mind about whether this was a routine fix-it ticket traffic stop or a full-blown felony stop. If the latter, he should have treated it like a full-blown felony stop. Yes, he probably would have taken heat for disrespecting a man in front of his girlfriend and child. BLM would have complained that if Mr. Castile were white he wouldn’t have been treated that way, etc.

But people made mistakes. Officer Yanez didn’t tell Mr. Castile that he was an armed robbery suspect and didn’t do a felony stop. Mr. Castile, not realizing the danger he could be in, was careless (or perhaps merely ignorant). The net result, though, is that Philando Castile is dead and Officer Jeronimo Yanez must deal with having killed a law-abiding citizen.

 

[1] Law Enforcement Officers Killed & Assaulted

[2] Defined by the FBI as “duly sworn city, university and college, county, state, tribal, and federal law enforcement officers who died as a result of felonious incidents in the line of duty.”

 

118 Responses to The Philando Castile Shooting: The Very Definition of FUBAR by Everyone Involved

  1. Wow what a load… yeah it’s Castile’s fault. Didn’t supplicate enough… as far as living nearby I live less than 10 miles from Chicago’s south side…so what!

    • The very fact that you have to basically learn how to treat a cop as if he were a dangerous animal, probably means that we’ve already admitted that cops are generally dangerous to be around even if you’re not doing anything wrong. Is this a problem of racism? Maybe, but it doesn’t have to be to yield the same results. Cops should not be able to shoot you just because they feared for their lives. It should be an unambiguous and undeniable threat before they do so. So will this result in more dead cops. Almost certainly yes, but that’s their job. If they don’t like it, they should quit. We can’t just quit being stopped by cops. It’s not our job to learn how to treat them.

      Now don’t get me wrong, I realize this is sensible advice in light of our current situation, but let’s not take this as some kind of unquestionable norm. Instead, you should write your lawmaker and get them to do something about it. Until then, obviously try to respect the cop in order to save your own skin, but do not make the mistake of thinking they are entitled to this by nature of their job.

    • “I thought he was reaching for something so I shot him to death”
      -Ordinary Citizen on his way to jail for 2nd Degree Murder.

      “I thought he was reaching for something so I shot him to death”
      -Ordinary Cop on his way to no official consequences whatsoever.

      Any questions?

  2. There was no justification for deadly force. This wasn’t ferguson (justified), charlotte (justified), zimmerman (justified).

    The cop was scared of his own shadow and f’ed up.

  3. MN = broken cr_p, Yanez did what 5-oh and all the rest of the POS (D) up there want and that’s get another gun off the streets.

    If we get reciprocity, we’ll all have to do a Sturgis-type rally drive-in-and-park meet up there just to break all the turds in on their infringement being infringed.

    • I’m not going to defend the cop, sure as hell won’t defend the deceased and, yeah, it’s crawling with progressives in Hennepin County, but I will question if you know a damn thing about firearms laws in Minnesota… I get that we elected Al Franken, but you’re talking out your ass here.

      • Ya, happen to – know a little about firearms laws in Minnesota. Watched the dash-cam, watched the filming by his passenger. Castile seemed ~ impaired to me by his responses, or hoping for death by cop, and Yanez didn’t talk himself off the ledge, and Castile’s passenger should be held as-guilty of the death of Castile because of how involved in the communication they were (definitely a distraction, and an unwanted one).

        Yeah Franken ain’t the only F’d part of communist MN, but maybe it’s nothing that your Obama imported active jihadi/TB can’t handle.

        • whatever your on get treatment . castile didn’t do anything to deserve to get shot seven times and killed. also risking the life of a small child in the car. this is just plain crazy. the sad fat is , shooting innocent people won’t bring back a single one of the officers KIA. If the cop asks for your drivers license he should expect you to move your hand to get it. If he wants To check you out first, he should tell you to put your hands on the dash and leave them there until his partner can retrieve your paperwork. Blaming the victim here.
          Whether the officer didn’t seem to have mal intent, but used horrible judgment. Horrible enough to be considered negligence? I don’t know but his actions cost an innocent man his life.

        • Sorry Joe, but I’m due back to a little place called reality. Apparently you haven’t been there.

        • Hope you dropped breadcrumbs, or wore your red cape with the hood.

          We left the light on for ya.

        • Sooo you believe talking in front of a police officer warrants immediate execution.

          You need to seek treatment. Immediately.

  4. “However, according to the FBI’s LEOKA[1] circumstances page, from 2006 – 2015 there were 491 officers “feloniously killed”[2] and of those, 54 officers (almost 11%), were killed during routine traffic stops.”

    54 in 10 years, vs 1000 people killed by cops last year alone. Who should be afraid of who?

    • Ding, Ding, Ding!

      Sadly, since police never suffer any consequences for shooting innocent people, this will never change.

      • Sadly, since [most] cops never suffer any consequences for their mistakes you MUST treat them cautiously. Swallow your pride and your righteous indignation and treat them like a rattlesnake. He might not hurt you and just slither off after your encounter, but even if he doesn’t rattle in warning a diamondback can strike and kill you on a moment’s notice.

        Sad, nasty, unfair, but there it is.

        • I think this notion is where we are in the most need of reform. For the law-abiding citizen, there’s no recourse for an overly-aggressive/jackboot cop. I don’t understand how we can Yelp-review businesses out of existence, campaign against elected officials, but the deadliest segment of our government has no mechanism to allow the public to rate or remove an officer. This problem, while it can be argued affects minority and economically disadvantaged communities more, can and has affected all Americans in all communities at some point or another. There needs to be real reform in how police departments and individuals are held accountable.

    • I came here to voice my concern over this particular stat as some form of justification. 54 in 10 years isn’t a lot. I’ll put it in a little better context: there are roughly 2.64 million traffic stops per year… so in 10 years, there were roughly 264 million stops; 54 of those resulted in the officer being shot. That is about a .00002% chance that a given stop is going to result in the cop getting shot. That is a 1 in 5,000,000 chance. The same cop’s chances of getting hit by lightning that year are 1 in 960,000… over 5 times more likely.

      So, the question is; how much concern in your day to day life do you put into making sure you don’t get hit by lightning? Philandro Castille shoudl have put 1/5th of that much concern into the safety of the officer.

        • Anyone who wears a pistol as part of their everyday toolkit and is required to approach bad, annoyed or upset people for a living is an accident waiting to happen. Act accordingly.

      • “That is about a .00002% chance that a given stop is going to result in the cop getting shot.” No, that’s the chance of a cop _dying_ by gunshot. The chances of a cop being non-fatally shot or otherwise injured are higher.

        This tragedy does not change the fact that _unjustified_ homicides by police are quite rare. As a cause of death among PoC, and citizens in general, it is the least of our worries.

        • I’ll take “Justifications that are as irrelevant as the original statement” for 400 Alex!

          YOU’VE JUST HIT THE DAILY DOUBLE!!!

  5. I disagree about the wisdom of telling the police you have a permit to carry. As a courier I get pulled over about 3 or 4 times a year (usually for a headlight out but sometimes for speed or a Hollywood stop) here in the Twin Cites. When I am pulled over, I want to keep things as simple as possible. Another place where I differ is my hands simply stay on the wheel. Sticking them out the window sounds friggen’ crazy. I let the cop ask the questions and I just answer them and offer nothing more. No extraneous information need complicate the conversation. I have only twice got a ticket in 40 years and those were from unusual cops who just seemed angry at the world. I am glad I didn’t complicate things with those two.

    • Depends on the state. Some states have a “Duty to Inform” statute requiring you by law to tell the officer you have a permit.

      Most states also allow officers to access permit databases whether you tell them or not. It’s likely they knew anyways.

    • Yes. Simple, polite and slow. Don’t move any more than you have to. Don’t say any more than you have to.
      Columbo never would have caught anyone if the people he investigated just kept their mouths shut.

    • Unfortunately, in Minnesota your driver’s license and your permit to carry are linked. In other words, if a cop runs a permit holder’s driver’s license, it will be flagged that the individual has a PTC. As such, I prefer to let the cop know *before* s/he gets surprised by the info. Cops hate surprises on a traffic stop almost as much as they love seeing empty hands.

    • Re: hands out the window

      I had a sheriff’s deputy once tell me that when he saw that, he was actually more on guard because that meant “they’ve done this before, and for not just a traffic stop. ‘Regular people’ aren’t going to stick their hands out the window, ‘usuals’ are.”

      • That depends. I’m not criminal and I always put my hands out the window when I (rarely) get pulled over. So far every cop has been cool with it.

      • The last time that I put my hands out of the window after being stopped for speeding the officer, clearly irritated, asked me if I had ever been “felony” stopped. He seemed visibly and audibly irritated by MY behavior and was on edge enough that he even had his hand on his weapon’s holster. When I explained to him that I did it for his benefit, to make him less nervous because he could see both of my hands, he relaxed and then issued me a ticket.

        I don’t put my hands out of the window anymore when I get stopped.

  6. As I commented the other day under the previous Philando Castille post, there is no possible way that you can retrieve anything without giving the police officer a justifiable excuse to shoot you. No matter where you reach, no matter how you reach, no matter what you say before you reach, the policeman/woman can say that they thought you were reaching for your gun to shoot them which justifies them shooting you. Period.

    The only way that you can avoid giving the cop a justifiable reason to shoot you is:
    (a) Have your drivers license, registration, proof of insurance, and concealed carry license already on the dashboard in plain site before you begin to pull over.
    — or —
    (b) You sit absolutely motionless, with your hands plainly visible on the steering wheel the entire stop, while you tell the cop to tell you how to exit the vehicle so that he/she can REACH for your license.

    I see no other way. You/I have absolutely ZERO reason to trust any policeman/woman who has qualified immunity and their police union behind them.

    But don’t take my word for it, watch this video of a deputy that was quite literally itching to shoot a private investigator in California … who would be dead if he reached for anything in any way:

    • That’s why I always pull my wallet out before he’s even out of the car and have my license / CCW in my hand (if I’m carrying). Then they have no excuse if they want to start shooting.

    • Hmmm…
      My wallet (with ID and license) is kept in my Drago bag and customarily ends up in the back seat when the wife is in the passenger seat… can’t get to it before the officer reaches me. Time to change habits I guess.

      • strych9,

        That deputy should be fired and then tarred and feathered. Long after his buddies arrive he continues to point his handgun at the private investigator. He was quite literally looking for an excuse to shoot the driver.

        And you should hear the long (about 25 minute) unedited video. You can hear a female deputy say that she wants to tase him. You can also hear two female deputies conspiring to dream up tickets/charges that they think will stick. This whole thing stunk to high heaven.

        • It would be hard to disagree with your assertions here.

          Tarred, feathered, severely beaten, fired, publicly castigated by the department and cast out of society really doesn’t seem all that unreasonable based on his actions.

    • Do you practice drawing from concealment?
      Then you need to practice getting your Licence and proof of insurance out on the dashboard before the car comes to a stop.

      Then just keep your hands on the wheel and don’t move them for any reason.

      You may annoy the cop for making furtive movements, but as long as he’s in his car, and you’re in yours, he can’t claim he was “in fear for his life”.

      Unjust? Yes. Sickening? Yep. Shouldn’t be your problem? Yes.
      But has been made your problem. Do your best to survive it.

  7. Seven paragraphs on multiple “mistakes” by the dead, legally carrying civilian stopped for looking like someone else, and only one short paragraph on one egregious error by the highly trained and experienced officer of the law? Whose side are you on?

    • Isn’t that obvious?
      This is a cop apology article trying to pass itself off as a “there’s plenty of blame to go around”.

      I support the cops, but this trend is BULLSHIT. I can be shot for any damn reason whatsoever, and he just has to say he THOUGHT I was a lethal threat. Evidence be damned, we’re back to killing people because of the way they made you FEEL!

  8. I literally just thought about this…if I’m ever pulled over and armed, I will ask the cop would he disarm me first himself so that I can reach.

  9. Did you watch and listen to the dash cam and stop action it.

    When Mr. Castile told Officer Yanez that he had a firearm Officer Yanez OK just don’t reach for it. Then it escalated from there.

    Mr. Castile was told several times don’t reach for it or don’t go for it.

    Mr. Castile still continued his actions causing officer to escalate to deadly force.

    The commands were clear don’t reach for it don’t go for it. Why didn’t Mr. Castile obey the commands why did he continue reaching for what ever it was .

    Only Mr. Castile knows and he is dead

    If a high risk stop was conducted would MR. Castile still be alive.
    It is only speculation what would have happen because it didn’t.

    More then one suspect has been shot during a high risk stop.

    Officer Yanez escalated to deadly fore because of Mr. Castile’s actions not what he said

    Officer Yanez did not draw and shoot as soon as he heard the word gun or firearm
    If you watch his actions on being told that Mr. Castile had a firearm he wasn’t that concerned. Otherwise he would not have just said OK don’t reach for it.

    Mr. Castile did something that cause Officer Yanez to go from Ok just don’t reach for it to using a command voice ordering Mr. Castile not to reach for it not go for it.

    What ever it was. Mr. Castile continued his actions resulting in
    Officer Yanez using deadly force.

    Mr. Castile had THC in his system that could have very well clouded his Judgment.

    Mr. Castiles girlfriend turn out to be a very unreliable witness that changed her version of the story several times.

    Things are not always as clear as one thinks go back to the dash came stop action it. Listen very careful and watch the reactions and times.

    One can not just watch it a couple of times at full speed and get the context what really happened and what was said.

    There is a very good reason Officer Yanez was found not quilty.

    The standard is beyond a reasonable doubt and there is a lot of doubt in this case.

    Otherwise we would not still be discussing it around a year after.

    • Clear commands don’t mean shit when they’re screamed. That just shuts down part of the other person’s brain which often results in them attempting to complete an action they were previously engaged in.

      Afterwords, if they don’t end up dead, they’ll tell you that they don’t know why they did what they did (I just told you in the paragraph above) or that they didn’t hear the command. This is part of why coaching boxing or another martial art is so hard.

      Likely the guy was following the instructions to produce his DL, while doing so he told the cop he had a gun which produced a freak-out and scream response from the cop, that caused a “brainfart” for the “suspect” who then unconsciously attempted to complete the prior action of producing his ID which the cop mistook as going for his gun.

      Legal shoot but a tragedy and a fucking mess. All based on the fact that the”suspect” was ignorant of the gravity of the situation and the cop was ignorant of how the untrained brain works under sudden stress.

      I had this happen to me, I didn’t get shot, but afterwards I had to do some serious research to figure out why I did what I did.

      Screaming the same command repeatedly, though somewhat instinctual is, at best, useless and usually counterproductive.

      • Good analysis. Shows the importance of being prepared for a possible stop by having your wallet where you won’t need to squirm to retrieve it. Also, to have driver’s license and CWP out before the cop reaches your door if possible. Finally, to adopt a frame-of-mind of freezing with hands out, visible NO MATTER WHAT the cop is screaming at you. The cop does not have a pretext to shoot if you are frozen.

        Now, while in a frozen state by default, you can decide whether you heard the cop’s instructions correctly and that those instructions are internally consistent. If they are not consistent then you get shot for whichever movement you made that was inconsistent with one of his orders.

        Bad idea to keep your registration and insurance in a glove-compartment. Better idea to keep them in a visor wallet that you can access without appearing to be reaching for a gun.

        • My car has a handy little compartment just above the rear-view mirror for sunglasses. Mine don’t fit in there so I keep my Insurance and registration and a copy of my Nevada CPL in there instead. If I get stopped I have to reach UP to get them, not in my rear pocket or the glove box. Once the cop gets those I will carefully request instructions to reach for my drivers license in my wallet, which is on the opposite side from my pistol, if I am carrying and definitely on the opposite side from the console where I always have a pistol.

    • The commands were not clear. He was told repeatedly not to reach for the gun. At no point did he do that. He was reaching for his license, because he was told to do that. In other words, he was fully complying with the commands given to him. This is where positive commands come in handy. Don’t say “Don’t reach for it”, say “stop.” Say “put your hands on the dashboard. “

      • Yeah, I thought this was Yanez’s big error myself. He failed to keep adequate control of the traffic stop by giving specific and direct commands. Instead he let chaos be in charge, both he and Castile got confused, and then all hell breaks loose.

        The only good thing about this is it’s a shining opportunity for MNSCU schools with MN POST-certified skills programs to use the shooting as a traffic stop situational exercise.

    • @Duane: Bullshit.

      This isn’t nearly that complicated. A innocent man was killed for slipping up while trying to follow orders.
      Last I checked “getting flustered while a man with a gun gives you orders” did not warrant summary execution.

      Stop trying to cloud the issue with your apologist bull.

  10. This one is totally on Yanez. Absolute debacle of police procedure. If he thought this was the armed robbery suspect, it’s a felony stop. But even if it’s a simple traffic infraction, his deviations from proper procedure are egregious. He should not be in front of the B column. He should never have reached into the car. And he absolutely should never have put his weapon through the window. By remaining behind the B pillar and outside the car, he’s at the best tactical advantage.

    Also of note, the officer on the passenger side never drew his weapon, let alone pointed it at anyone in the car. I don’t really even see his hand removing one level of retention. So if this were a felony stop or suspicion of anything other than a fix it ticket, the passenger side officer didn’t act like it.

    As for the prosecutor, the statute carried a low burden to obtain a conviction. In fact, negligently mistaking your hunting partner for a deer and killing him is covered under the same statute. 609.205 MANSLAUGHTER IN THE SECOND DEGREE. Let that resonate. A hunting accident v. 7 shots into a man sitting and restrained by his seat belt. I was not at the trial and didn’t hear the testimony or arguments, but the citizens of that jurisdiction should think long and hard about their vote the next time that office is up for re-election.

    • “By remaining behind the B pillar and outside the car, he’s at the best tactical advantage.” First thing I thought, too, and he never retreated there, either.

  11. “Then, if I’m carrying, I tell him where my gun is located (usually in a shoulder holster in my left armpit) and where my wallet is located.”

    you had me at “shoulder holster” (weeps)

    ; )

  12. Huh, i posted a comment, but it never showed up. Now if i try to post the same one, it stops me saying its a duplicate… but the first one is still not displayed?

  13. Man, I don’t understand how everyone to comment on this situation is suddenly a psychic with total omniscience. From what I know, the only two pieces of hard objective evidence (girlfriend’s video, which started after the shooting, and dashcam video) don’t show what actually happened. I have my gut feeling, and I have my suspicions about it, but that’s all they are. Everything I’ve seen write about this, on both sides, has people acting as if they KNOW what happened. Do we know if Castile actually WAS pulling out his gun, and Yanez was fully justified in shooting? NO. Do we know if Castile WAS just going for his wallet, and the whole thing was a tragic mistake/misunderstanding? NO. Do we know that Yanez is a complete racist and knew Castile was only going for his wallet, but shot him anyways because he figured he could get away with it? NO. Nobody knows. Can anyone just admit that? Here, I’ll do it: I think it’s tragic that a man died. Any maybe it could have been avoided if he’d acted differently, and maybe it could have been avoided if the cop did things differently, but since I don’t have any clue how it all went down, I don’t see how I can say if it was justified or not. There, was that so hard?

  14. No, since Officer Yanez reacted violently to a father with his wife and small daughter in the car saying politely, “Sir, I have to tell you that I do have a firearm on me,” he would have reacted every bit as violently if the man had used your exact wording, “Officer, just so you know, I do have a Minnesota permit to carry, and I am carrying at this time.”
    Either way, what the cop would hear is, “I’m black and I’m carrying a gun.”
    You say that at the word “firearm”, what the cop heard was “I’ve got a gun.”
    Well then, at the words “I’m carrying”, what the cop would hear is “I’ve got a gun.”
    THERE IS NO DIFFERENCE between the phrase “I’m carrying” and “I have a firearm on me”, and every cop knows that!

    The only real difference in your wording is you say “permit to carry”, but if the cop thinks the guy is a robbery suspect because he “fits the description” (translation: he’s black, regardless of the fact he has a wife and young daughter in the car), and if the cop thinks “black robbery suspect” means “dangerous” he’s not going to give a damn whether the man CLAIMS he has a permit!

    As long as cops think that any CCL permit holder who’s “carrying while black” is a capitol offense, then any black motorist who notifies a cop that he has a carry permit is risking his life! It seems the only solution (other than giving up your 2nd Amendment rights ENTIRELY, which I think readers of TTAG would agree is unacceptable) would be for black motorists who are legally carrying to keep their mouth shut and NOT notify the cop that they’re carrying, because if they notify the cop, he’s likely to shoot them. However, there are such varying state, county, city, and local laws that in some areas it’s a crime to NOT notify the cop that you’re carrying, and obviously this motorist was polite and wanted to follow the law. My advice, sadly, to black gun owners is to keep their mouths shut if they’re exercising their 2nd Amendment right to carry — unless the cop searches them, in which case they should put their hands over their head and THEN notify the cop that they’re legally carrying.

    But they still might get shot anyway, even if they follow all the cops orders and do everything correctly, because sometimes a cop gives an order, and when the law-abiding citizen follows the order, the cop shoots them! This happened to a white guy, an Iraq War veteran who was in the Military Police (meaning he was an ex-cop himself, and he TOLD the officer that). The officer who pulled the veteran over told him to get out of the car and “Lay down on the ground,” but then changed his mind and ordered the man to, “Get up!” When the veteran followed the cop’s order to “Get up!”, the cop shot him dead, and it was all on video, so it happens to white guys too.
    The white veteran’s mistake? He argued with the cop about a traffic ticket, told the cop he was an ex-cop himself from his Army service as an MP, but disrespected the cop by arguing with him. The cop was angry at the disrespect and decided to MURDER him, so he PURPOSELY gave the veteran an order to “Get up!” and then shot him dead, thinking the video would support the cop’s story that the man disobeyed orders by getting up, but the cop didn’t realize there was AUDIO showing the cop giving the order to “Get up!” right before executing him, murdering him, for “disrespecting” the copy. This case with the white veteran was a bad cop, a murderous cop, but as long as cops get away with murdering anyone who “disrespects” them, they will.

    In the case of Philando Castile, he didn’t disrespect the cop, so it wasn’t premeditated murder like it was with the white veteran, but Officer Yanez was a poorly trained, trigger-happy, cowardly, lily-livered, yellow-bellied, and probably racist cop!

    I have a personal example of how cops sometimes use (or threaten to use) excessive force on white guys too. When my brother (who is white) got out of the Army and came back to our hometown after serving overseas, he was unaware that they’d recently put up a “No left turn” sign at a local intersection. A cop pulled him over for making a left turn, and my brother said simply, “I don’t understand why you’re pulling me over.”
    The cop replied, “Do you understand that I’m going to pull you out of the car and beat you senseless?”
    Luckily, the cop had a partner who calmed him down, so he didn’t beat up my brother.
    Some cops consider any argument about a minor traffic offense to be “disrespect” worthy of beating up or shooting the motorist.

    • Not his wife and not his daughter. Given that, I’m not inclined to read the rest of your rather long post because you couldn’t even get that right.

      • Hey El, are you living in Saudi Arabia under Sharia law? Here in America, it doesn’t matter if she has a marriage license. “Wife” or “girlfriend”, same thing! A man is dead, and If you’re so fixated on whether he was able to produce a marriage license that you refuse to read my post, then there’s something seriously wrong with you. Is lack of a marriage license reason to shoot someone dead?
        This is 2017, FYI, not the Victorian era. I know lots of white couples raising kids without a piece of paper saying they’re married, and I always speak of them “husband and wife” anyway because there’s no difference other than a piece of paper. It’s called a “common-law marriage.”
        This is America, this isn’t freaking Saudi Arabia, where women are not allowed to be seen in public with anyone other than a husband or male relative! Get over your fixation on marriage licenses.

        Yeah, I know, you think you were making a point that I misstated a fact, but it happened to be the absolute LEAST important fact, and I actually refer to any couple raising a child together as husband and wife, regardless of paperwork. And I don’t care if the daughter was his BIOLOGICAL daughter or his girlfriend’s daughter, it makes NO difference. My point, which went right over your head, is that from the cop’s point of view, he should have seen a family of two females (mother, daughter, and husband or boyfriend), but he was racist so he saw “black man”, therefore he thought he “fit the description” of every armed robber who wasn’t white.

        Nobody cares whether the victim had a marriage license! Nobody f**king cares except you!
        A man is dead!
        We’re discussing a life-or-death situation, and you’re concerned whether the woman in the car has a marriage license to be traveling with the man?
        You SERIOUSLY need to sort out your priorities.

        • “Here in America, it doesn’t matter if she has a marriage license. “Wife” or “girlfriend”, same thing!”

          Nope. Not even close.
          Facts matter, and you are hopelessly lacking them.

        • “Facts matter”.
          Not irrelevant facts!

          When deciding whether to use lethal force against the driver, Philando Castile, it doesn’t matter whether the woman sitting next to him had a green shirt on or a blue shirt on, and it doesn’t matter whether she was his wife, girlfriend, common-law wife, baby-mama, sister, mother, cousin, aunt, niece, 2nd-cousin-once-removed, friend, neighbor, nun, teacher, etc. If someone said, “She was wearing a green shirt” and it turned out she had a blue shirt on, is that reason to discount the person’s entire line of reasoning? The cop didn’t shoot Philando because he never took his girlfriend to get a marriage license, he shot Philando because he was a poorly trained, racist coward.
          What the woman next to him was wearing, whether she possessed a marriage license, is irrelevant.

          I might as well say, “You misspelled a word, so I’m not going to bother reading the rest of your argument,” but if I did that, I’d have to skip 99% of the comments on TTAG.

        • But those facts do matter in considering whether we should take your opinion seriously or not.

          Guess how that’s working out.

        • “Guess how that’s working out.”

          I can see that already: you have your hands firmly clamped over your ears, your eyes closed, while chanting
          “LA LA LA LA, I CAN’T HEAR YOU!”

          because you’ve already made up your mind and you don’t want to be exposed to facts that might contradict your pre-judged (i.e. prejudiced) view. Yes, the word “prejudice” is based on “pre-judging” (< Latin praejūdicium prejudgment, orig. preliminary or previous judicial inquiry, equivalent to prae- pre- + jūdicium legal proceedings, judging ( jūdic-, stem of jūdex judge + -ium -ium ).

          Would it help if I apologized for the grave, serious mistake of mistyping "wife" when I meant "girlfriend"?
          Okay, and then I expect you to apologize every time you make a spelling mistake, because it's equally relevant (not).

  15. I have no idea whether this is the case in other states, but, in Virginia, car registrations are linked to permits to carry a concealed firearm, so the officer knows whether the car is registered to a concealed firearm permittee before he/she even approaches the car. At the same time, the officer also knows that as permittee, the driver has a clean criminal record (at least when the permit was issued).

  16. Man, I don’t understand how everyone to comment on this situation is suddenly psychic. From what I know, the only two pieces of hard objective evidence (girlfriend’s video, which started after the shooting, and dashcam video) don’t show what actually happened. I have my gut feeling, and I have my suspicions about it, but that’s all they are. Everything I’ve seen write about this, on both sides, has people acting as if they KNOW what happened. Do we know if Castile actually WAS pulling out his gun, and Ofc. Yanez was fully justified in shooting? NO. Do we know if Castile WAS just going for his wallet, and the whole thing was a tragic mistake/misunderstanding? NO. Do we know that Ofc. Yanez is a complete racist and knew Castile was only going for his wallet, but shot him anyways because he figured he could get away with it? NO. Nobody knows. Can anyone just admit that? Here, I’ll do it: I think it’s tragic that a man died. Any maybe it could have been avoided if he’d acted differently, and maybe it could have been avoided if the cop did things differently, but since I don’t have any clue how it all went down, I don’t see how I can say if it was justified or not. There, was that so hard?

    • We do know that the EMTs found the gun still in his pocket. We also know that those who want to shoot someone will not announce that they have a concealed weapon and Philando told the officer that he has a license to carry. We know that the officer asked him for his license and told him not to reach for his weapon and he said he was not reaching for it. He did not tell him not to reach for his ID. He should have told him not to move.

  17. Couple things…

    1. It’s entirely possible that the cop on the passenger side didn’t hear Castile say anything about a gun, so in the brief amount of time between the word firearm and the first shot (5 seconds), he maybe had no clue that the action of reaching was anything to worry about. Maybe the initial handoff was just insurance and registration, and he was reaching for his wallet/driver’s license/carry permit.

    2. I think Castile was already reaching into his pocket or beside his leg when he told the cop he had a firearm, because although the cop said “Ok, don’t reach for it then” he also immediately grabbed his gun and slightly drew it. He then said “Don’t pull it out” (implying the reaching had been completed) and further drew his gun to the point that it was clear of his holster.

    Bad situation all around, but I can see the justification for an acquittal.

  18. Man, I don’t understand how everyone to comment on this situation is suddenly psychic. From what I know, the only two pieces of hard objective evidence (girlfriend’s video, which started after the shooting, and dashcam video) don’t show what actually happened. I have my gut feeling, and I have my suspicions about it, but that’s all they are. Everything I’ve seen write about this, on both sides, has people acting as if they KNOW what happened. (Cont’d below)

    • (Part 2, Cont’d From Above)
      Do we know if Castile actually WAS pulling out his gun, and Yanez was fully justified in shooting? NO. Do we know if Castile WAS just going for his wallet, and the whole thing was a tragic mistake/misunderstanding? NO. Do we know that Yanez is a complete racist and knew Castile was only going for his wallet, but shot him anyways because he figured he could get away with it? NO. Nobody knows. Can anyone just admit that? Here, I’ll do it: I think it’s tragic that a man died. Any maybe it could have been avoided if he’d acted differently, and maybe it could have been avoided if the cop did things differently, but since I don’t have any clue how it all went down, I don’t see how I can say if it was justified or not. There, was that so hard?

    • (Pt II, cont’d from above)We don’t know that Castile actually WAS pulling out his gun, and Yanez was fully justified in shooting. We don’t know that Castile WAS just going for his wallet, and the whole thing was a tragic mistake/misunderstanding. We don’t know that Yanez is a complete racist and knew Castile was only going for his wallet, but shot him anyways because he figured he could get away with it. Nobody knows any of these things. Can anyone just admit that? Here, I’ll do it: I think it’s tragic that a man died. Any maybe it could have been avoided if he’d acted differently, and maybe it could have been avoided if the cop did things differently, but since I don’t have any clue how it all went down, I don’t see how I can say if it was justified or not. There, was that so hard?

      • We actually do know that Castille was not pulling his gun, since the paramedics found it still in his pocket.
        And we know that Yanez never saw the gun. At 9:05 in the dash cam video Yanez says ” And I don’t know where the gun was. He didn’t tell me where the f***** gun was.” Meaning that the only threat presented by the gun was confined to the officers imagination.

        You may not have a clue about how it went down, but the rest of us can look ate the evidence available, and see that it wasn’t justified.

        • I previously read that:

          1. The EMT said it fell out when they moved the body
          2. An LEO said he had to dig in the pocket for it

          Inconsistent ‘facts.’

          Either way, guy says he had a gun, then digs in a pocket for several seconds while being told not to. Expected result.

        • As stated elsewhere, there are conflicting statements about the gun falling out of his pocket vs about someone having to reach down deep into it and other stories from other people. That’s why I specified OBJECTIVE evidence. That is, not one based on recollection or colored by personal bias. Similarly, Yanez’ testimony is certainly not objective, and it’s interesting that you ascribe 100% truthfulness to him when he states he didn’t know where the gun is, but then assume he must be lying when he states otherwise, contradicting himself. Just to be clear, I’m not saying it was a good shot. I’m not even saying my hunch is it was a good shoot (or the opposite). I’m just stating that there’s no way ANY of us can KNOW one way or the other, that there is a lot of ambiguity and uncertainty in the small amount of evidence we have available. As such it’s a WHOLE lotta hubris for anyone to take such a strong stand, on either side of the issue.

  19. If anything, police should be held to a higher standard than that of the public…As it stands now, police can commit crimes with impunity because, in most situations, they investigate themselves…Behavior that would get an ordinary citizen charged, convicted and incarcerated is routinely ignored by “the powers that be” because police are considered to be “above the law” as the “law” is whatever they say it is, the Constitution be damned…
    Ever notice that police unions are “fraternal”? This should tell you something. The “thin-blue-line” is a gang, little different than street gangs–at least when it comes to “covering-up” their questionable and quite often, illegal and criminal behavior.
    In today’s day and age, “officer safety” trumps de-escalation of force. This, in part, is due to the militarization of the police along with training in Israeli police tactics. This becomes a problem, with the “us vs. them” attitude that is fosters, along with the fact that Israel is a very different place, being on a constant “war footing”, and by necessity, its police tactics are very different.
    There are too many instances of police being “given a pass”, even when incontrovertible video and audio evidence is presented. Grand juries, guided by police-friendly prosecutors, quite often refuse to charge those police officers who abuse their authority.
    Police officers, who want to do the right thing, are quite often marginalized and put into harms way, by their own brethren…When a police officer is beating on someone that is already restrained while yelling, “stop resisting” THAT is but one reason police have a “bad name” in many instances…this makes the “good cops” who are standing around, witnessing their “brethren in blue” beating on a restrained suspect, culpable as well…
    Here are changes that can help reduce police-induced violence:
    1. Get rid of police unions. Police unions (fraternities) protect the guilty, and are responsible for the massive whitewashing of questionable police behavior that is presently being committed.
    2. Eliminate both “absolute” and “qualified” immunity for all public officials. This includes, prosecutors and judges, police and firefighters, code enforcement and child protective services officials, and others who deal with the citizenry. The threat of being sued personally would encourage them to behave themselves. Require police officers to be “bonded” by an insurance company, with their own funds. No bond= no job.
    3. Any public funds disbursed to citizens as a result of police misconduct should come out of police pension funds–NOT from the taxpayers.
    4. Regular drug-testing of police officers as well as incident-based drug testing should take place whenever an officer is involved in a violent situation with a citizen–no exceptions.
    5. Testing for steroid use should be a part of the drug testing program. You know damn well, many police officers “bulk up” with the “help” of steroids. Steroids also affect users mentally as well, making them more aggressive. The potential for abuse of citizens increases greatly with steroid use.
    6. Internal affairs should only be used for disagreements between individual officers–NOT for investigations involving citizen abuse. State-level investigations should be mandatory for all suspected abuses involving citizens.
    7. Prosecutors should be charged with malfeasance IF any evidence implicating police officer misconduct is not presented to the grand jury.
    8. A national or state-by-state database of abusive individuals who should NEVER be allowed to perform police work should be established–a “blacklist” of abusive (former) police officers.
    9. Most people are unaware that police have special “rules” that prohibit them from being questioned for 48 hours. This allows them to “get their stories straight” and makes it easier to “cover up” bad police behavior. Police must be subject to the same laws as civilians.
    10. All police should be required to wear bodycams and utilize dashcams that cannot be turned off. Any police officers who causes a dash or body cam to be turned off should be summarily fired–no excuses. Today’s body and dash cams are reliable enough to withstand harsh treatment. Body and dashcam footage should be uploaded to a public channel “on the cloud” for public perusal.
    11. All interrogations must be video and audio recorded. Police should be prohibited from lying or fabricating stories in order to get suspects to confess. False confessions ARE a problem in many departments. Unknown to most people, police can lie with impunity while civilians can be charged with lying to police…fair? I think not…
    12. Any legislation passed that restricts the rights of ordinary citizens, such as firearms magazine capacity limits, types of weapons allowed, or restrictive concealed-carry laws should apply equally to police. No special exemptions to be given to police. Laws must be equally applied.
    Police work is not inherently dangerous…there are many other professions that are much more dangerous.
    A little “Andy Taylor” could go a long way in allaying fears that citizens have of police.
    That being said, I have no problem with police officers who do their job in a fair, conscientious manner…however, it is time to call to task those police officers who only “protect and serve” themselves.

    • Cops are given time to get past the mental distortions of a traumatic event before making a statement. Too bad they don’t give suspects the same opportunity.

      • It seems like “Officer safety” has grown from a reasonable thought to a monster. LEOs are very quick to go to a taser or gun when in the past lesser tools were employed.

        • You are correct. If a cop cannot disarm an individual with a rake or a knife without shooting him, he is in the wrong line of work.
          In the “old (pre-Israeli cop training) days pulling out your firearm was grounds for investigation. Not any more…
          We are all Palestinians now…

        • I see what you did there throwing the whole “Israel is an evil occupying army” ideology out there. Nice.

          So does this mean we are shooting missiles at police stations on a weekly basis?

          Do we use our neighbor’s kids as human shields while we launch these rockets?

          Are we sneaking into policemen’s homes and hacking them, their wife and children to death? (like the Fogel family)

          Are the Police supplying all of our electricity and basic utilities like Israel does to Palestine?

          Are we allowed to be voted into the government that controls the police like Palestinians can in Israel?

          Do the police supply us with MILLIONS of dollars in aide every year, which we use to buy more rockets?

          Is our stated goal to “Drive every last cop (Jew) into the sea!” like the Palestinians?

  20. If I recall correctly, the girlfriend’s video seemed to show a firearm resting on Mr. Castile’s right abdomen, just below his right, front pocket.

    After looking at both videos, it appears to me that Mr. Castile drew his firearm as the cop was screaming at him to not reach for his firearm. I think the cop started shooting as soon as he saw the actual gun.

    Things happened faster than either of their brains could react.

    • I have seen someone in a similar situation with an airsoft pistol in the car reach for it to ‘give it’ to the officer so I wouldn’t be surprised. In that case things worked out surprisingly okay and there is no doubt in my mind that the driver had no intention of either harming the officer or suicide by cop. It was just an incredibly poor decision made in the split of the moment.

    • You don’t recall correctly. The girlfriends video only showed a dark object on his abdomen. You can’t tell what it is from the video. It probably was just hist belt, since it appears smooth and shiny.

      His gun was a full size DB9. Here is the evidence photo.
      http://stmedia.stimg.co/1004024938+CastileWalletFirearmHolsterKAN+7706.JPG?w=2000

      Notice that it has a dull not shiny appearance, and that neither its slide or grip are smooth. It is not his holster either which appears to be a dull black rough nylon finish. However, since the paramedics found his gun in his pocket we know for sure that whatever it was it wasn’t his gun.

      Finally, we know that officer Yanez didn’t fire when he saw castille’s gun. If you watch the dash cam video you will hear Yanez say “And I don’t know where the gun was. He didn’t tell me where the f***** gun was (9:05).” Officer Yanez never saw the gun and didn’t have a clue where it was.

  21. However, according to the FBI’s LEOKA[1] circumstances page, from 2006 – 2015 there were 491 officers “feloniously killed”[2] and of those, 54 officers (almost 11%), were killed during routine traffic stops.

    Bruce, you cite figures that five cops a year (out of 800,000) are killed during traffic stops, and you think that justifies using deadly force against innocent citizens in traffic stops?
    I think that’s evidence we can just forget about “officer safety”, at least as far as traffic stops are concerned, as too insignificant to worry about. Instead, we can devote our efforts to more serious dangers to law enforcement, such as donut induced choking deaths.

    • If you’re one of those dead cops, or a live cop who doesn’t want to be a dead cop, then the low number of dead cops is irrelevant.

      Very few construction workers die of trench collapse or being hit by falling objects, but they still regularly use trench boxes and hard hats.

      • Yawn. Your form letter is worn out.

        “If it saves one (Child/Cop/Puppy) then we must (ludicrously disproportionate and ineffective response)!”

        “YOU DISAGREE?!?! WHY DO YOU HATE (Cops/Children/Puppies)?!?!

  22. I love these threads, all the cop fluffers come out of the woodwork. Police work, the only work where you can wrongly deadline someones ass and just keep truckin.

    • Yup. Honestly, cops aren’t the problem. In a large population a certain number of people are going to be dirt bags, or just make lethal mistakes.

      What makes me absolutely see red is the perpetuation of the culture in the justice system and online that this lethal mistake is ok, “Because he’s a cop”.
      What. The literal. F*CK. does his dayjob have to do with whether he committed a negligent homicide?

      If it doesn’t fly for a non cop concealed carrier, it doesn’t fly for a cop. Anything else is bullshit.
      They are private citizens just like the rest of us. The exact same laws apply to the exact same degree.

      “I thought he was reaching for something so I shot him to death”
      -Ordinary Citizen on his way to jail for Murder 2.

      “I thought he was reaching for something so I shot him to death.”
      -Ordinary Cop on his way to no consequences whatsoever.

  23. Here are “police” practices that deserve to be exposed:

    #1. During a traffic stop, the police officer will touch the back of your car. The reason for this “touch” is that, quite often, the police officer will have a small quantity of narcotics (marijuana or cocaine) on him (in his hand) that he will rub on the car in order to help “justify a search”. When the dog is brought in, it will react to “cues” from its handler as well as the drug residue on the vehicle and help “justify a search”. This tactic is mostly used against young people. Drugs can also be “planted” on a “suspect”.
    The “touch” used to be a way for police officers to “prove” that they had an interaction with a citizen, but no more . . .

    #2. Most (if not all) cops possess a “throwdown” weapon. This “helper” is obtained from a criminal who is then “let go” without his weapon and is always used to justify a questionable police situation and to “sanitize” a “crime scene to absolve police on the scene of criminal police behavior.

    #3. If you are in the back of a police car, LIE DOWN on the seat. Police use the concept of “screening” to abuse their unwilling “passenger”. This involves, driving at high rates of speed, violent turns and other antics to get the passenger to “hit the screen” separating the front from the back with his face. Hence the act of “screening”.

    #4. If you are being handcuffed, quite often the police officer will wrench you arm behind you, forcing you to “turn around”. Another “trick” is a foot to the instep, forcing the individual to involuntarily “pull away”. The officer will then add a charge of “assault” to whatever other charges they concoct against you (just for being forced to turn around). They “pile on” charges, hoping you will plead guilty to at least one.

    Remember–NEVER CONSENT TO SEARCH . . . You must be polite, but firm in your refusal. You can state that “you NEVER consent to searches” as well as using these “magic” words–“am I free to go?” The police officer MUST answer your question . . . If you are being detained and an illegal search takes place, you have legal recourse.

    Remember–police are not your friends . . .

    That being said, not all “law enforcement” personnel are criminal, but the “thin blue line” that they so jealously guard (and “look the other way” when rogue cops abuse their authority) does much to taint ALL “law enforcement” personnel with having ulterior motives.

    • haha.. got a chuckle out of me for this post. Literally every single thing in it is bullshit. Well, not everything, it’s perfectly good advice to not consent to a search. But the other stuff is gold (the idea that cops would try and ‘plant’ the scent of drugs on a car using their own finger is my favorite btw)

      • It happens more often than most people realize.
        There are many cases of cops “planting” drugs, both on young people and on parolees. Some twisted cops enjoy busting people JUST BECAUSE THEY CAN.
        Every one of my statements can be verified as being true.
        You must be a copsucker…

        • That’s a bunch of BS–somebody has been watching way too many dirty cop movies.

          Has that stuff happened? Probably. Is it common? Absolutely not. Possibility vs probability–I’d put all your claims in the 1% category. I’d be willing to bet that in most departments simply being found in possession of a “throw away” gun would be grounds for serious punishment or dismissal.

        • haha okay buddy, please show me the “verified truth” of how cops touch the back of a car on a traffic stop to plant the scent of drugs.

          I’ll wait, presumably while categorizing my inventory of ‘drop guns’ and framing people I’ve never met for no benefit to myself whatsoever.

  24. I’d be interested to know a few things:
    1. Where exactly are you active?
    2. I’ve had my own issues with that department and I’ve been muzzle stamped with my own gun by one of those guys. Background: was in my late 20’s, bigger guy and darker skinned… and it was later at night as I was looking for a snap fitness around larpenteur and snelling (because I was delivering pizzas at the time and had issues with a particularly creepy customer watching me work out). So is this an age thing, certain attitudes among some officers about permit holders, an appearance thing (I wasn’t exactly in business casual), a training issue about how to conduct felony versus unknown (no such thing as a routine) traffick stop… or could it maybe be a racial thing?

  25. Castile smoked pot…he was a user of cannabis…It was and is illegal…under federal law, to own or purchase a firearm, whether it is for “medicinal” purposes or not. It is a bad situation overall, but UNDER FEDERAL LAW, which in this case supersedes local statutes, it is illegal for him to possess a firearm…It ultimately is his fault…

      • Her was not allowed to own a gun..He would not have admityted to having a gun…he would not be DEAD…GROW THE F*#% UP…

        • Wow, that’s a fucking reach.

          Castile is guilty of being Armed While Black and *maybe* being impaired, which equals a death sentence?

    • You double parked, Citizen. Freeze let’s see your hands don’t move what’s in your hands get on the ground don’t mo BANGBANGBANGBANG…BANGBANGBANGBANGBANG

    • Can everyone just shut the fuck up about weed already? It’s here, it’s not going anywhere, and its (possible) impact on this case is so miniscule compared to all the other issues that it’s basically meaningless.

  26. It’s the Israeli tactics that most police departments have adopted.
    We are all Palestinians now…

  27. “The truly glaring error that comes to my mind is that he never actually made up his mind about whether this was a routine fix-it ticket traffic stop or a full-blown felony stop. If the latter, he should have treated it like a full-blown felony stop.”

    Not practical. As I said in the comments to the last article on this, it just doesn’t work that way. You can’t order people out of a car at gunpoint so flippantly. Someone fitting a description is a good reason to identify them (pretextual stop) but, given that the crime in question had not just happened, that’s about it.

    Not only will you get sued and fired eventually, but conducting a ‘high risk stop’ on more cars leads to more escalation and if you play that card long enough, it will also end with someone getting hurt. The approach and decision to approach ‘normally’ wasn’t the problem here. It was something- probably a couple of somethings- that happened after the driver said he had a gun.

  28. Kinda surprised by some of the comments. If you are going to carry a gun, there are certain dos and don’ts. If someone says that you shouldn’t have your finger on the trigger when you re-holster your gun, nobody replies, “That shouldn’t matter. I don’t deserve to be shot just because of where I choose to place MY finger on MY gun!” So why do people have a problem understanding that nobody gets shot by the police if they follow all the right steps?

    • Castile was shot due to a miscommunication between himself and the cop, and the cop going full blown panic at being at being faced with a black man with a gun who wasn’t complying properly with the orders he thought he gave.

      This is a problem of inadequate/inappropriate training, and a cop who might not have had the right mental tools for the job.

      “So why do people have a problem understanding that nobody gets shot by the police if they follow all the right steps?”

      As we’ve seen, sometimes they shoot you anyway. How do you comply, for example, with multiple cops ordering you to: Don’t move, Drop the Weapon, Hands on your head, Get on the ground? If cops can be exempt from criminal penalties for making bad decisions that result in death, and nobody insists on requiring they have adequate training for these situations, then this is going to be a mess.

    • My problem is the “by the police” double standard. Is a convenience store clerk, which is a statistically more dangerous job than police officer, justified in shoot any open carrier reaching for their wallet, because the clerk fears for their life? The right to use deadly force should be a uniform standard. Also replace Yanez with any normal cop and Castile would be alive. Yanez doesn’t have the mental fortitude to be on the street even if his special priveliges allow him to make lethal mistakes.

    • “So why do people have a problem understanding that nobody gets shot by the police if they follow all the right steps?”

      Unfortunately, this is incorrect. It does happen that sometimes people who do nothing wrong are shot by the police.

      …but that shouldn’t take away from the fact that it’s extremely rare, and that someone who doesn’t reach towards their gun has a much smaller chance of it happening.

  29. Just what the fuck are u saying.? This man died for not knowing what to say to a cop… That’s a bunch of bs if the same person being white did that exact same thing that Philando did but goes home to his family alive.. someone punch this story telling MF who lives around the corner in the face and slap the writer of this bs

    • White guys die due to police miscommunications too. Erik Scott in Nevada came to mind when I read saw the video and realized the officer never actually told Castile what he had to do to not die. Yanez told Castile “don’t reach for it” (meaning the gun) and Castile probably was’t reaching for it. But he did reach for something else and Yanez decided that meant he had to die. Had Yanez said something like “hands on the wheel” then the command would have been unambiguous.

      Without looking it up, my recollection is that Erik Scott was shot after being told (according to witnesses) in rapid succession by multiple officers “drop the gun” (which was holstered) “hands up” and “don’t move”. There’s no way he could simultaneously comply with all those commands.

      I do suspect Castile being black unfortunately contributed to the likelihood of his death. But this isn’t exclusively a “black man with a gun” problem, it’s a “police kill people for not being mind readers” problem.

  30. I wouldn’t exactly qualify the deceased as a ‘law abiding citizen.’

    He tested positive for marijuana.
    AFAIK it was never determined if he was the actor in the armed robbery.
    He reached in the area of his firearm while the LEO was continually yelling for him not to.

    While I see the LEO as justified in shooting, even if he should have pursued other options, I’ve seen hundreds of comments from people who are convinced that the LEO committed murder after viewing the video. I chalk this up to people not understanding police training and legal procedure, but for many, perception is reality.

  31. Minnesota Officer Jeronimo Yanez is a coward. Not only that, likely just a bit racist as well (black = looks like suspect). If he really thought he was pulling over a robbery suspect he sure was unconcerned looking at the start. The whole thing just looked fishy and he LIED about the tail light, a lier as well. I just hate law enforcement that acts so entitled and justifies murder in this way. Disgusting. Gives the real Geronimo a bad name.

    • How do you know that black = suspect in his mind? Sounds like you’re projecting.

      And I’m not sure what video you’re watching if you can’t see the taillight out. Watch before he’s pulled over- the left tail-light is clearly non-functional. Later on his brake light comes on, but that’s it.

      And how do you expect the police to stop someone who looks like a bank robbery suspect from 4 days earlier? Rush up and drag him out of the car? No, you do exactly what the officer did- act as though it’s a perfectly normal stop and identify him. Things were fine until the word ‘gun’ was mentioned.

  32. Media ignores the good defensive shootings, dances all over the dead in bad shootings like rabid coyotes. Why? Because they have a gun control agenda.

    TTAG posts news about a “bad” cop. Comments flood in about the “evil cop brotherhood” while ignoring the fact that millions of police interactions go down with respectful cops. Where have I seen that before? Oh ya, the liberal news agenda, only this time, it is the “conservative gun owners” on their pedestal of high and mighty.

    What a bunch on hypocritical posers.

  33. 1:37 Right after the officer says, “don’t pull it out then”, the driver says, ” I.. I’m gonna have to pull it out.” Does no one else hear this?

  34. Cops are the only “officially sanctioned” group that can act on impulse (a defense not available to us ordinary mundane citizens–our version of self-defense does not permit acting on impulse), kill an innocent person, and get away with murder.

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