Two perspectives on the Yanez verdict:
David French at National Review points out something that a lot of Yanez’ defenders miss:
If you read carefully, you’ll note that it appears that the officer shot Castile for doing exactly what the officer told him to do. Yanez asked for Castile’s license. Castile told him that he had a gun, and the officer – rather than asking for his carry permit, or asking where the gun was, or asking to see Castile’s hands – just says, “Don’t reach for it then.” At that point, Castile is operating under two commands. Get his license, and don’t reach for his gun. As Castile reaches for his license (following the officer’s orders), and he assures him that he’s not reaching for the gun (also following the officer’s orders). The entire encounter, he assures Yanez that he’s following Yanez’s instructions. He died anyway.
I’ve heard more than a few police-supporting conservatives justify the shooting by saying Castile had been told not to reach for his gun – but to comply with the other order he had to reach in the same general area (right rear pocket). Some, with the benefit of hindsight, think that Castile should have reacted better.
To which I respond “sit down in front of a microphone, or in front of a Toastmasters meeting, and give a speech for which you’re unprepared. See if you remember your kids’ names”. Stress does unpredictable things with human reactions. Try it sometime.
Better yet, don’t. Carry permittees are taught that the most dangerous time they’ll most likely face is police contact. If you’re a carry permittee, you need to train for police contact just like you train to deal with a threat; you need to go over your line, over and over. Because from where I sit, it seems Castile’s big mistake was getting his lines backward – mentioning his gun before his permit.
The other perspective – NRA commentator Colion Noir:
Other than Yanez’s testimony, there is nothing I read about the trial or any newly revealed facts to suggest that Philando was going for his gun. However, I don’t know what Yanez saw that made him think Philando was going for the gun, I wasn’t there, and I only have his words to go by. Sadly, Philando isn’t here to tell us other than his last dying statement of, “I wasn’t reaching for it”.
Personally, I feel because Yanez pulled Philando over under
The suspicion that he was a robbery suspect coupled with the presence of a gun, it put Yanez in a heightened state. I feel he lost control of his wits and overreacted. This now brings me to the question of race. Do I think Yanez felt threatened by the fact that Philando was black? It’s very possible Yanez was indifferent about Philando’s race. However, because of the negative stereotype reinforced in the media about black men and guns, it wouldn’t completely surprise me if Yanez felt more threatened by Philando because he was black. This is the same negative stereotype that I’ve been trying to combat for years now.
Both pieces are worth reading all the way through.