The shooting of Philander Castile by Officer Geronimo Yanez has gotten national attention, but the case might not have been quite as simple as many have thought. Indeed, 21 officers were injured in rioting on Saturday night. Yanez's lawyer had this to say:
“I’m not concerned about criminal proceedings here and I don’t think he is either,” attorney Thomas Kelly told PBS Saturday.Kelly said in a separate interview with The Associated Press that Officer Jeronimo Yanez was reacting to “the presence of that gun and the display of that gun” when he shot Castile multiple times. . . .
Obama's comments surely suggested that the officer was at fault.
Kelly said that Castile did not obey the instructions of the police.
“I can tell you that the driver disregarded the clear commands of Officer Yanez,” Kelly said, adding that “race had nothing to do with the shooting.” . . .
"There was more than just the equipment violation,” he said, refusing to share any more details due to an ongoing investigation.
I want to begin by expressing my condolences for the families of Alton Sterling and Philando Castile. As I said in the statement that I posted on Facebook, we have seen tragedies like this too many times.
The Justice Department, I know, has opened a civil rights investigation in Baton Rouge. The governor of Minnesota, I understand, is calling for an investigation there as well.
As is my practice, given my institutional role, I can’t comment on the specific facts of each case. And I have confidence (AUDIO GAP).
But what I can say is that all of us as Americans should be troubled by the news. These are not isolated incidents. They are symptomatic of a broader set of racial disparities that exist in our criminal justice system. . . .
The Governor of Minnesota clearly argued that racism was the problem behind the shooting.
“Would this have happened if those passengers would have been white? I don’t think it would have,” Gov. Mark Dayton said to a crowd that gathered outside his residence all day and night Thursday. . . .
The president doesn't even mention that the officer doing the shooting in Minnesota, Geronimo Yanez, was Mexican.
Labels: Police, police racism