Please Note: The linked video below is graphic.
By now you have heard the officer charged in the Philando Castile shooting, Jeronimo Yanez, was acquitted on the charges of second-degree manslaughter and reckless discharge of a firearm. Back in July of last year I had armchair quarterbacked the situation while believing Philando had told the officer he had a concealed firearm and permit. After reviewing the video below, there was no mention of a permit in the conversation only that he had a firearm and then the officer immediately grabs the grip of his gun and tells him not to reach for it. I believe the officer acted too fast and as a result Philando is dead. I also believe Philando had a duty to obey the officer’s command and when he went reaching he escalated the situation.
After hearing the news the officer was acquitted I immediately felt the jury got it wrong despite deliberating for four days. After watching the video I am not so sure. For certain any officer that fearful and quick to action should rethink their chosen profession. A trained professional should exercise caution and restraint until the situation call for the use of deadly force. In this case we have a driver with a broken tail light who has impairment from use of marijuana and his decision to not obey the officer’s commands in conjunction with an officer making a poor decision led to his demise. In my mind the officer is guilty of something, but I am no longer convinced it is manslaughter.
As a concealed carry permit holder I strongly feel anyone who announces they have a permit and firearm to the officer should never be shot. In the case of Philando Castile he never mentioned the permit, only the firearm, and then reached when he was instructed not to do so. It is a tragedy which could have been prevented if Philando had obeyed the officer and if the officer had exercised a bit more restraint instead of fear, especially considering there was a child in the vehicle.