Thursday, July 07, 2016


I've come to accept in this day and age that any high profile police incident will result in grandstand lawyers conveying their unsubstantiated version of events before all the information is gathered. I accept it but I sure as heck don't like it.

The latest officer involved shooting took place right here in the Twin Cities.

A black St. Paul man was fatally shot Wednesday night by police in Falcon Heights, apparently after he and his girlfriend were pulled over for a broken taillight.

The girlfriend, Diamond Reynolds, captured the immediate aftermath on a video taken with her phone that was widely shared on Facebook.

Reynolds started the live-stream video with the man, Philando Castile, in the driver’s seat slumped next to her, his white T-shirt soaked with blood on the left side. In the video, taken with her phone, she says they were pulled over at Larpenteur Avenue and Fry Street for a broken taillight.

The “police shot him for no apparent reason, no reason at all,” she says in the video.

Rarely is it as simple as a cop shooting a citizen for "no reason at all." It's been reported that Castile was armed when he was pulled over. Upon the gun being discovered by the officer, it was alleged that Castile indicated he had a permit allowing him to legally carry that firearm. The officer implied that his reason for shooting Castile was he felt the man was reaching for his gun. As is often the case in these types of incidents, there are at least two dramatically different versions of what happened.

Call me naive, but my sole hope is that a sufficient answer is reached and that justice is properly meted out. Until then, I refuse to join in on the myriad (and often baseless) speculation that ensues after a tragedy such as this. All I know is that a young man is dead shortly after he was pulled over for a broken taillight. That in and of itself is a travesty.

I have already prayed for the loved ones whom Castile has left behind. I just hope that somehow, someway they can attain a semblance of peace and comfort in what is no doubt a devastating and confusing time.


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