Killer Cops in America
by Stephen Lendman
Getting away with murder in America is simple. Become a cop. Wear a badge. Carry a gun.
Repeatedly nationwide, in large and small cities, urban and rural communities, killer cops routinely get away with murder. Rare exceptions prove the rule.
Inner city minority communities are virtual war zones. Police kill over 1,000 victims annually, mostly Black and Latino male youths.
On July 6, 2016, Falcon Heights, MN police officer Jeronimo Yanez fatally shot Philadro Castile after pulling him over for “driving while Black,” according to his mother.
Over a 13-year period, he was stopped by police at least 49 times over nothing or at most infractions too minor to matter – targeted for his race, not wrongdoing.
The last time was a fatal encounter. According to his girl friend in his car at the time, Diamond Reynolds, he told police he was carrying a gun – legally with a permit.
Reynolds said he was shot seven times at point blank range while reaching for ID. His death was ruled a homicide from multiple gunshot wounds.
He died in Hennepin County Medical Center around 20 minutes after being shot. Yanez was charge with one count of second-degree manslaughter and two counts of discharging a firearm dangerously.
According to Ramsey County attorney John Choi, “no reasonable officer knowing, seeing, and hearing what officer Yanez did at the time would have used deadly force under these circumstances.”
On Friday, after four days of deliberation, jurors acquitted him of second-degree manslaughter, justice for another Black victim of police brutality denied.
At the time of Castile’s death, area Black Lives Matter organizer Rashad Turner said his lethal shooting followed “years and years of racial profiling.”
“Now it’s come to the death of a pillar in our community, a Black man who was taking care of business” – threatening no one.
Minorities in America, especially male Black youths are disproportionately mistreated by police, targeted for their race.
Examples of policy brutality occur multiple times daily across America. Militarized police make their own rules – killing unaccountably in cold blood.
Following Yanez’s acquittal of second-degree murder, St. Paul, MN street protests erupted. I-94 was blocked. Police ordered crowds to disperse.
Some complied. Others were more determined to express justifiable anger, shutting down both sides of the highway Friday night.
Castile’s mother expressed outrage, saying Yanez got away with murder. He “will not get away with divine justice. The system continues to fail Black people, and (it) will continue to fail” them – because no matter how times these type incidents occur, no corrective actions are taken.
As long as cops can kill with impunity, nothing in America will change.
Stephen Lendman lives in Chicago. He can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org.
His new book as editor and contributor is titled “Flashpoint in Ukraine: How the US Drive for Hegemony Risks WW III.”
Visit his blog site at sjlendman.blogspot.com.
Listen to cutting-edge discussions with distinguished guests on the Progressive Radio News Hour on the Progressive Radio Network.