I’m confused, WordPress Readers.
What am I, an almost-39 year old Black guy, supposed to do?
I like the feel of a hoodie in cool weather, especially in the Fall. I currently have a few, one of which is black (a University of Louisville hoodie). However, if I’m walking around at night, I’m very liable to get shot. Heck, if I’m walking around anywhere, there’s the possibility that an officer is going to stop me. It has happened twice in my life, already (once, for “casing a truck”, even though I was looking at the clock above a furniture store; the second time, because “there have been break-ins in the area” and “you look fit the description of a possible suspect” – at 2:45 in the afternoon, less than a block from my then-apartment, with headphones and work khakis on).
What happens if I’m outside a store, I “fit the description”, and police come to the scene? I can leave as they are pulling up…. but that could leave to me ending up like Michael Brown. If I stay and cooperate, there’s no guarantee that anything bad will happen…. or I could suffer the same fate as Eric Garner.
Remember growing up, those of you over the age of 35, and either owning or playing with cap and BB guns? I better not have one, especially in a park, or I become the next Tamir Rice.
I’ve got it! Car rides! I’m not waving a toy gun, not walking through skittish suburbs while wearing a hoodie (BTW, ever have someone cross the street when you get close? Yes? Then multiply that by somewhere between 15-20, and you approach my levels), or loitering anywhere. This should be free of conflict…
Enter Jeronimo Yanez and Philando Castile.
The Cliff Notes version of the story, in case you haven’t heard, read, or seen – or you an NRA member, who somehow has lost their ability to complain and speak out:
Castile, his wife, and his 4 year old daughter, are pulled over by Officer Yanez. Castile’s wife starts streaming the encounter via Facebook Live. Castile tells Yanez that he has a gun and a permit for it. Yanez shoots Castile. Yanez is charged with 3 counts of Manslaughter. Yanez was acquitted.
“She erased the beginning of the encounter – we don’t know what he [Castile] said!”
It was Facebook LIVE, idiot!!
“He shouldn’t have made a threatening movement”/”He shouldn’t have reached for the gun!”
He didn’t have time to move towards anything!
Those were just 2 of the arguments against Castile.
Dash cam video was finally released from the incident. It can be found HERE or through most of the major news network sites. You can put that video together with the Facebook video and draw your own conclusions. If your conclusions don’t include “Officer Yanez should be in prison for Murder“, then your conclusions are wrong. Castile was shot 7 times, point-blank range. Castile informed Yanez that he had a gun and a permit for it. Castile did not reach for anything, once Yanez ordered him to stop. Philando Castile did *everything* he was supposed to do, and was still shot.
In front of his wife and 4 year old daughter.
His killer gets off, scot-free.
So, you now see my source of confusion. If I do something illegal and confront police, I am going to get (probably deservedly) shot, possibly killed.
If I’m in the wrong place and police spot me, I’m profiled and harassed, at best, and shot/choked to death, at worst.
If I’m walking in the wrong place, at the wrong time, I’m likely to get profiled and possibly stopped by police. Don’t even think about wearing “suspicious clothing”
If I’m pulled over as the driver of a vehicle, things won’t end well; I might get profiled if I am even in the car.
I think I will ride a bike, mainly travel between 9 AM and 12 PM (not crossing over 9th, because… well, the Scum of the Ohio Valley apparently lives west of 9th Street and “our kind” shouldn’t be “on the other side”), and not wear my hoodies.
Unless UofL, Purdue, or WKU are playing each other. Then all bets are off.