It’s hard for me to try and wrap my head around how a police officer can fire seven times into a vehicle with a woman and child inside and it not being reckless. Nor how it doesn’t show a clear disregard for the safety of the others. Especially when a police officer asks for a man’s ID and the driver did as he was told.
That is exactly what happened in the case of Philando Castile who was 32 years old and living in Falcon Heights, Minnesota on July 6, 2016. Castile did what he was told and calmly said he had a gun in the vehicle and that is when Castile was shot.
Officer Jeronimo Yanez fired seven shots into the pulled over vehicle. Again, with a woman and child sitting next to a man who’s last words were, “I wasn’t going for my gun.”
Yanez’s partner witnessed the shooting but during the whole time never even began to pull his firearm.
All together Castile had 52 minor traffic violations. Still, that is no excuse for an officer to use deadly force against a man who was legally in possession of a weapon. Yanez was charged on 3 counts including second degree manslaughter. All of which he was acquitted for due to the wording behind a law that in Minnesota describes culpable negligence as having disregard for human life and the safety of others.
It was a bitter pill for the community to swallow and rightfully so. A man, who broke no laws except having a faulty break light, lost his life in front of his girlfriend and daughter. Castile wasn’t attempting to flee or cause harm and objective reasonable cause was not established to warrant Yanez firing seven times into the car.
It was a complete tragedy and it was caught on video by Castile’s girlfriend on Facebook live. It’s a horrible sight as Castile slips away. It begs the question of how exactly an officer of the law mentally justifies discharging his weapon. In this particular case it is a very disturbing thought that a police officer would shoot so many rounds and then later state he wasn’t sure where Castile had the gun. So that means Yanez didn’t see a gun. What he saw was Castile reaching for his ID as instructed.