For the rest of my life, I will remember the name of Philando Castile, a 32 year old African American man who was racially profiled, pulled over and hastily, recklessly shot to death by former St. Anthony (Minnesota) police department officer Jeronimo Yanez. Yanez irrationally feared for his life after Castile calmly and responsibly informed him that he was in possession of a firearm during the traffic stop. Yanez pulled Philando Castile over with the dishonest excuse of a cracked taillight, but in truth, Yanez had radioed to dispatch that he was pulling Castile over because of his “wide-set nose,” which made him think of an alleged suspect in a then recent convenience store robbery days before. #PhilandoCastile became another famous internet hashtag name because his girlfriend, Diamond Reynolds made a Facebook Live video that went viral, showing the immediate aftermath of the shooting in which Jeronimo was having an obviously guilt-ridden emotional breakdown as Philando was dying before our eyes online.
The Twin Cities, i.e. the Minneapolis and St. Paul metro area, is a hotbed for anti-police brutality protest demonstrations. Thousands of people here took to the streets to express public outrage over this killing, especially because Philando Castile was a good man who literally did nothing to deserve to be killed by the emotionally unintelligent and unprofessional police officer, Jeronimo Yanez, who asininely and desperately tried to blame the alleged smell of “burnt marijuana” in Castile’s car as the main reason he feared he’d be killed. That may be one of the worst examples of Reefer Madness * I’ve ever heard. Ramsey County Attorney John Choi’s office brought criminal charges against Yanez, making this the first case in Minnesota history of a cop being tried for killing a non-threatening civilian.
It has now been nearly two months