When will it be enough? I asked that question yesterday — HERE — and this morning I find myself wondering if I'll ever know.
Philando Castile. Say his name.
He worked as a cafeteria supervisor at J.J. Hill Montessori School in St. Paul, Minnesota.
One day he was riding in the passenger seat as his girlfriend, Lavish Reynolds, drove through Falcon Heights.
They were stopped for a broken taillight.
No one really knows what happened next, but Lavish began live streaming on Facebook shortly after Castile was shot while sitting in the passenger seat. I haven’t seen the video; watching people die is not my thing, but here’s what happened:
"Stay with me."
That’s how it starts, with Lavish screaming while Philando Castile sits bleeding to death in her car, her young daughter sitting in the back seat, as she tells viewers she had been pulled over for a "busted taillight in the back."
The officer, yelling and continuing to pint the gun at the dying Philando Castile:
"Fuck! … I told him to get his hand off!”
Lavish Reynolds, however, is calm and speaking both to the officer and to the viewers:
"He's licensed to carry and was trying to get out his ID and his wallet out his [pocket] and he let the officer know he had a firearm, and he was reaching for his wallet … and the officer just shot him in his arm ... he just shot his arm off.”
“Oh my God, don’t tell me he’s dead, please don’t tell me my boyfriend just went like that...Please, officer, don’t tell me he’s gone; please don’t tell me that you did this to him. You shot four bullets into him, sir.”
Another officer arrived and asked Lavish Reynolds to step out of the vehicle. She was handcuffed and placed in the backseat of the police cruiser with her child:
“It’s OK. Mommy. I'm right here with you."
“Please, Jesus, no! Don’t let him be gone, Lord.”
Did he have a gun? Apparently so, but that doesn't mean he should have been shot to death. He had a right to carry his weapon, but that doesn't mean he should have been shot to death.
I truly believe that, had Philando Castile been a white man, in the exact same situation, the result would have been so very different.
No one would be dead.
The Minnesota Bureau of Criminal Apprehension is reportedly investigating the situation.