Joe Doakes from Como Park emails about the story of the day:
White cop from St. Anthony department shot Black man at traffic stop on Larpenteur at Fry in Falcon Heights. Passenger took video, protests and vigils occurring.
you might want to reiterate your policy of refusing to comment until facts are known to stop speculation on SITD.
As with all shooting stories; the first 24-48 hours of media reporting will be absolutely squalid. I’ll be withholding most comment.
Doakes continues, speaking about the narrative from the video (which I’ll include below the jump):
Passenger says cop asked driver for his wallet, driver reached down for it and while reaching, told cop that driver had a concealed carry permit and was carrying (which they tell us in training you’re supposed to do). Cop told driver to put his hands up, driver brought his hands back up and officer opened fire because driver was making threatening movements, possibly bringing up the gun.
I’m guessing young cop, twilight, Black guy, gun . . . yeah, that script pretty much writes itself. Girlfriend and child in the car watched it all.
Not an accidental discharge, by the way, several shots fired.
Driver age 32, employed, no serious criminal record if he had a concealed carry permit . . . bad scene all around.
Not just employed; employed by the Saint Paul Public Schools, apparently, in a position for which (I’m informed) one needs to pass a background check.
My focus would be additional mandatory training for law enforcement and for permitted carriers: What, exactly, are permitted carriers supposed to do if stopped when carrying? Play-act it. Drivers need to know so they don’t alarm officers, and officers need to have a standard method of handling the situation.
While I neither confirm nor deny I own or carry any firearms, I have sat through carry permit training; the most prudent course seems to be to inform the officer only when there’s a likelihood of a search – like, if you’re asked to get out of the car. This was posited for exactly the reasons that seem likely to have occurred in this incident; an incident that started as a fix-it ticket (apparently) escalated because a (law-abiding, black) man told the (apparently jumpy, possibly rookie) cop that he had a permit and gun in a manner that had likely been prescribed to him in his training.
We don’t know all the facts, though.
Indeed, that’s my only real answer to everything in this incident; we don’t know the facts yet. Everything that everyone is saying is conjecture at this point. Not pure, unadulterated conjecture; the video shot by the girlfriend an interesting wrinkle to this case (statements made while the incident is still in progress are admissable under Minnesota rules of evidence, although I’m not sure of any limitations that might apply); her story, for what it’s worth, stays very consistent through several retellings on video.
Question: if Philando Castile was shot unjustly, was it because of paranoia over black men, or over the new plague of urban paranoia over gun owners?
Anyway, I’ll urge everyone to reserve judgment, knowing full well nobody will.