Thursday, July 07, 2016

Alton Sterling and Philandro Castile

Sometimes you see images that you know you can never erase from your brain.  Two that come to mind for me are ones  I saw this week.

One is a woman talking about her dead husband who was shot as he lay pinned on the ground by police officers. But what I will remember is that, as she speaks, the dead man's 15-year old son sobbing for his father.

Another is of a woman whose boyfriend was shot after being pulled over by a police officer for a broken tail-light.  The officer asked for ID and the boyfriend told the officer he had a licensed concealed weapon but was reaching for his wallet to get the ID.  The officer shot him.

His girlfriend had a choice of trying to give aid to her boyfriend or film what would happen next.  She started filming. Her calm voice, her use of "sir" even as the officer yelled at her was a study in massive self-control.  I don't know how she did it.

This has to stop.

From the school where Mr. Castile was the cafeteria supervisor:


50 comments:

NW mom said...

There is a rally at Westlake tonight at 6pm.

n said...

Both were horrendous but the second really got to me. Nothing weird about this working couple driving to an outing with a kid in the back seat. Absolutely nothing to generate concern on the part of the officers except color. A four-year old in the back seat? This one has got to be a game-changer in police departments across the nation.

And I would like to see more attention paid to minority youth in Seattle as well. We owe them a huge investment and it is time we did it. I'm talking about schools.

Anonymous said...

The reason both these man are dead is not due to the color of their skin...both were carrying GUNS....maybe that should be the focus?

Read up CWP rules and CW laws and you might reconsider why both these men were shot.

CWP requires you to conceal your weapon when in a car, no exceptions. It's not to be place in the open, on a seat or even hidden in the glove box. When you tell a cop you have a gun and start reaching around you are probably going to get shot.

Perhaps you should educate yourself by watching the numerous videos of police being shot during traffic stops.

NRA

Lori said...

Are you serious, NRA?!

Both Louisiana and Minnesota allow for the open carrying of handguns. In MN, you do need a concealed pistol license, and as I understand it, the victim in MN actually told police that he had a gun and a CPL before they fatally shot him.

You know, the NRA wants everyone armed, everywhere, all the time. They should be *outraged* today that these men were killed for exercising their Second Amendment rights. Why aren't they?

Anonymous said...

Open carry is NOT in your pocket, look it up. Cars are exempt from open carry, again look it up.

Anyone carrying a gun runs the risk of being shot. It's very simple, don't carry a gun and you lower your risk of being shot. I don't carry a gun, but if I did I wouldn't do the stupid things that resulted in these two men being shot.

NRA

Melissa Westbrook said...

NRA, two men are dead. Don't call them stupid.

We don't know the full story but the guy in Minneapolis seemed to do everything he was supposed to. It was the cop who seemed to overreact. He asked for ID. I have to wonder why - when the guy openly admitted he had a license to carry a gun and had the gun on him, that the officer did not then say, "Sir, step out of the car and get on the ground."

What exactly was the guy supposed to do? If he hadn't said he had a gun, he still would have been in trouble.

alex said...

You cannot simultaneously put your hands up & show an officer your ID at the same time. It's impossible.

This would not have happened if either man had been white. When is the last time a white man got shot dead by the police in a routine traffic stop, NRA? When? If you're honest, you will acknowledge that it never happens.

Anonymous said...

I'm not calling them stupid, just their actions. Brandishing a gun is illegal. The police were responding to a call of a person threatening others with a gun. The guy had a gun and refused to follow orders.

The guy in the car made several mistakes: 1. Don't have a gun in a car. 2. Don't tell a cop you have a gun. 3. Don't start digging around. 4. Follow the cops directions.

In the end you will see no conviction.


NRA

Anonymous said...

In 2016 261 white people were killed by police — the highest total out of any racial group. Look it up.

NRA

Melissa Westbrook said...

Alex, well, given that the white kid who shot up the people at church at their prayer meeting gotten taken to Burger King after he was arrested, yes, I think this has everything to do with race.

I was listening to NPR and a former SWAT team member from some city was saying that many departments have uneven training for situations that go from 0-60. He said there was a way to help officers understand the fear and shock that goes thru the brain and be able to recognize that and better control/act in a situation.

I would advocate for the feds to put real dollars in supporting that kind of training for officers across the nation.

And, unions need to take a good long look at recognizing that some people - luckily a small number - are not fit for the job.

Patrick said...

Which police orders was he supposed to follow, NRA? The order not to move, or the order to show his license and registration?

Anonymous said...

Another story

Unarmed White Teen Gunned Down by Black Cop… Where’s the Outrage?

http://conservativetribune.com/teen-shot-by-cop/


NRA

Anonymous said...

Black Cop Shoots And Kills 6-Year Old White Boy With Autism


At the conclusion of this chase, Officers Greenhouse and Stafford opened fired on the car, pumping 18 rounds into the vehicle. Christopher Few was hit twice and has bullet fragments in his head and lungs. He is critical condition. His young son was hit 5 times in the head and chest. He died in his car seat.

http://downtrend.com/71superb/black-cop-shoots-and-kills-6-year-old-white-boy-with-autism

NRA

Anonymous said...

http://www.washingtontimes.com/news/2014/nov/27/white-teen-gilbert-collar-killed-by-black-cop-trev/

NRA

Melissa Westbrook said...

NRA,you wil never be able to match the number of stories of black men killed by white officers. Do not take up the space here to try.

Anonymous said...

There are many more links, some are about black cops killing white unarmed men, others are about white cops killing unarmed white men. Do you think the black cops killed the white men and children because they were white?

Do you see how ridiculous your accusations are. Do you understand why most cops are never convicted?


NRA

Anonymous said...

Did you not read that in 2016 more white men were killed by cops than black men. Did you read where it said that many of the cops where black? How do you explain these facts?


NRA

Anonymous said...

I would say this is a cop thing that's unrelated to their color. Do cops profile ? you bet they do and for good reason. Walk a mile in their shoes. Maybe we should take cops guns away?


NRA

Anonymous said...

Well of course more white people were killed by cops. 63% of the US is white. But 63% of the deaths were not to white people. 291 is barely a quarter.

The murder rate of black men by police officer alone (16/100,000) is higher than the entire murder rate of all people in either China (11/100.000 or France (10/100,000).

Many, many, many countries do not arm their police personel. I do think we should consider doing the same. I explain that many of the police officers were black by pointing out that our police institution is virulently racist and needs demilitarization and more routine audit for over the line behavior. What is there right now- it infects people of all colors on the force.

https://www.theguardian.com/us-news/2015/dec/31/the-counted-police-killings-2015-young-black-men

-sleeper

Melissa Westbrook said...

NRA, I can see you are worried about your group losing ground if you put forth a nonsensical idea like taking guns away from cops. No one is saying that.

Anonymous said...

It was commented on that black people were killed more than white by police, I was simply pointing out that it's not true. Now you have moved to argue on the percentage of deaths based on race populations.

I haven't looked into the data or the circumstances of most of the other shootings, but the two unfortunate deaths which is the subject of this post are not the same as killing an unarmed man.

I have seen both videos and can understand why both men were shot. The common denominator is they both had guns.

The first man had been reported has having committed a crime, refused to yield to instructions and had an illegal concealed weapon. It's very obvious why he ended up being shot. He was a convicted felon and it was illegal for him to possess a weapon.

The second is more complicated, but again the man had a gun which he reported to the officer as being out of its hostler inside the car. This is illegal regardless of having a permit and will always result in an officer drawing their weapon. It appears the man starts to grab for something and the officer reacts by discharging his weapon. I can understand why the officer shot him.

NRA

madpark said...

One day I missed the #11 bus that stops at 9:15 in front of Berts Red Apple in Madison Park. So I got in my car and drove over to Madrona to catch the #2. I quickly came across a car upside down in the street. I got out of my car and looked around. Didn’t see anybody. Up the street there were some workers and I talked to them. Some guy had just crashed the car and run away with a brief case. Hmmm. None of us had a cell phone, but another driver by did, and called the police. We walked back to the car, there was a wig in it. I thought about driving around to see if I could catch a glimpse of him, but thought the better of it. It was quiet. I drove up to Madrona, parked and waited for the #2 that never came. I walked most of the way to work. There had been a bank robbery in Madison Park. The bank robber had crashed his car and run off.
By lunch he was dead. He was white.

After a couple of hours someone had finally spotted the bank robber in the neighborhood, and the police rushed to where he was.
The bank robber charged an officer with what looks to be a filleting knife

http://www.discountcutlery.net/NK03029-Rapala-Fish-n-Fillet-Knife_p_44098.html.

The officer had an M4,
https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/M4_carbine.

An M4 can do 700 rounds in a minute, cyclic, so it is not surprising how it turned out.
The bank robber with the knife was shot 7 times and died.
Here is an article about the bank robber, I think about him whenever I drive past that spot where his car was. And I think about the over militarization of our police force.

http://www.seattlemet.com/articles/2015/3/10/the-brief-extraordinary-life-of-cody-spafford-march-2015

Anonymous said...

It appears that the man in Minnesota did not have his gun in the car.

The speculation is, he was telling the officer he had a "concealed weapon permit", but the officer heard, "I have a concealed weapon". If the officer had an active body camera we should soon know what was said. This is a tragic event and could be viewed as excessive force. Remember an officer only has to be in fear for their live for the force to be justified. It's more than a stretch to call the shooting racially motivated.

NRA

Anonymous said...

NRA, it has been proven by several scientific studies that all people fear black men more than any other group. Everyone has these prejudices. A black man is more likely to be shot by a police officer than any other group.

I have black friends who are professionals: teachers, counselors, doctors, lawyers, preachers; who fear police officers and have to advise their black sons on what to do if stopped by the police. My one friend is so anxious she can barely drive now because she fears being stopped by a police officer and being shot.

The fear is real, whether they carry a gun or not.

HP

seattle citizen said...

Yeah, NRA, the research is clear: we have been conditioned to fear black people more than other races. Your constant denial that race pertains is weak and methinks thou dost protest too much.
Of course race was involved.

Anonymous said...

Speak for yourself, I'm not afraid of black people. I'm much more worried about white people with shaved heads and demonic tattoos. The race baiting needs to end.

NRA

Outsider said...

It's a minor point, regarding the Charleston shooter, but does illustrate how little understood police work is despite ten million cop shows on TV. Once police have their suspect, they go into interrogation mode. At the beginning, they don't know if the suspect will cooperate, or if he had accomplices still on the loose. They want information from the suspect. Especially with a mentally ill or dimwit suspect, being friendly might be the best form of interrogation (even though they don't really like the guy -- it's an act.) If a Whopper will get them information, it's a bargain. Taking the shooter to Burger King does not indicate race favoritism.

I hesitate to mention it given the gravity of today's events, but Melissa, it's not really productive to promote the idea of pervasive dumb-nuts racism among police. It's more like they come to view black men as their enemy on the battle field, and start to commit what are best understood as war crimes.

Anonymous said...

TWO OFFICERS DOWN!! SHOOTING AT DALLAS BLACK LIVES MATTER PROTEST!! — VIDEOS OF SHOOTING

NRA

Melissa Westbrook said...

Outsider, it still looks bad. They could have fed him at the jail.

I am not saying all cops are racist but clearly something is up. I don't think it's "race-baiting" to point out how often this seems to happen.

War crimes are still crimes.

N said...

@NRA - a series of ridiculous and ignorant comments on your part. Before evening listening to him, he's got five bullets in him? What is the matter with you? Are you so afraid of Black people and defensive of white police that your are willing to speculate and provide defense for what was obviously devastatingly poor police work? A four-year old in the backseat? Police this nervous should not be in the streets working details that engage with minorities. Sorry. Nothing about the MN case should have ended like. It's just beyond the realm of comprehension that in this case you don't see the problem.

BTW, more Black men do carry guns than white - I heard on the news. But so effing what? If they carry legally, they're doing it the way they are supposed to. And you blame them for that? I'm so disgusted with every post you wrote. Will we ever get past such racism?

N said...

And you know what? Two white officers for two black officers. That's what we're looking at if such poorly trained police continue to kill blacks. Your defense of the police won't change that. Something has to change at the training level or no matter how many excuses you make for the police, they are going to start paying the consequences for their actions.

I'm all for removing guns from police and turning them back into community officers on bikes. Detectives or special squads who've been well-trained in using guns should have them. This culture of gun-loving has got to stop.

n said...

Sorry I see eleven cops shot in Dallas by snipers. Well, is anyone surprised? What hell has racism brought down upon us all...but it was inevitable.

Patrick said...

Melissa and Outsider, the Shelby police didn't take the Charleston suspect TO Burger King. They brought him food FROM Burger King. They had the suspect in a conference room awaiting the arrival of the FBI for questioning. They didn't have meal facilities, and the suspect hadn't eaten in a couple of days. They aren't allowed to starve prisoners. Don't want to blow the conviction because of inhumane treatment, or be unable to get his admission entered as evidence because it was coerced by starving.

Melissa Westbrook said...

Okay, Patrick, I checked and you're right. But is it the fault of the police he hadn't eaten in days (and that I truly doubt - teenage boys are not usually people who starve themselves.)

Melissa Westbrook said...

reprinting for Anonymous (please read our Comment policy and give yourself any name):

Perhaps you should educate yourself. In my state and many states that are open carry states, whom also issue licenses to carry that allow us to conceal, there is NO law requiring a licensed individual to resort to concealment. Where law specifically defines a firearm as legal to have in a vehicle without a carry permit, no law makes that right null and void at the issuance of a permit.
Further more, some states require you to inform the officers, making it punishable by law, if you don't inform them. Turning a situation where a firearm wouldn't otherwise matter, into a deadly confrontation.

Perhaps you should educate yourself. All around Pennsylvania, police interact with ltcf holders, without being informed of carrying and without officers being shot while those carriers retrieve their information as requested by police.

alex said...

@NRA..."I have seen both videos and can understand why both men were shot. The common denominator is they both had guns."

That's the common denominator that you see?

You don't see anything else?

I see something else, and it's undeniably the LEADING factor that led to both of their deaths. THEY ARE BOTH BLACK MEN. How can you not acknowledge that their race, not the fact that they may (or may not) have had guns played in their deaths?

I mourn deeply for the officers that died horrifically in Dallas.

But, if whites cannot also mourn for the black men who die for reasons that whites never (or very rarely die of (and don't give me #s about more whites being killed by cops--we are the majority of the population so of course that would be the case, whatever the circumstances) then we are denying the very humanity of our African-American brothers and sisters.

Acknowledge that racism is the reason that those two men died this week. Mourn not just for the police offices, but also for the men who died for NO reason.

Anonymous said...

Yes, there seems to be enough racism to go around.

"During the 2012/2013 period, blacks committed an average of 560,600 violent crimes against whites, whereas whites committed only 99,403 such crimes against blacks. This means blacks were the attackers in 84.9 percent of the violent crimes involving blacks and whites. This figure is consistent with reports from 2008, the last year DOJ released similar statistics. Perhaps not coincidentally, that was the year Mr. Obama was elected president."

Sorry to ruin your view point.

NRA

Anonymous said...

Lakewood ex-chief who lost 4 officers: Dallas tragedy 'brings everything back'

Remember the other black mass cop killer?...do you see the pattern? The facts are the facts no need to read anything else into it. I wait to see how you try and justify these events.

NRA

n said...

You, unfortunately, only see one pattern. The rest of us see more than one. More black-on-white crime? Look at unemployment for your answer. You live in a racist bubble and will not allow yourself to be convinced otherwise.

Anonymous said...

That's simply your opinion, It looks like you think the unemployment rate justifies violence. I think you also might want to look at what is happening in Chicago with black on black crime...is that caused by racists white people?

You have no evidence that racism played a role in the shooting deaths of the two black men. It could turn out to be true, but right now there's no evidence.

Quite the contrary in Dallas, we have the mass murders own words to support his racist motivations. He planned to kill people based on their race and he did kill people based on their race. I don't believe cops wake up and say "I think I will kill a black man today" Can you see the difference?

NRA

Anonymous said...

No you're wrong! I also see this pattern.

http://www.cbsnews.com/news/cops-tennessee-shooter-targeted-white-victims-similar-to-dallas-ambush/


You seem very angry, I've reported this site to the FBI.

NRA

Melissa Westbrook said...

NRA, go away.

I'm sure the FBI is laughing now and when they stop, they have real work to do.

Anonymous said...

You are feeding the usual troll here.
Bilbo B

Anonymous said...
This comment has been removed by a blog administrator.
tom h said...

LOL, that is the best thing I can say about this so called blogspot and the jokesters running it.

First off, Minnesota is NOT an open carry state. It is concealed carry only and you must have a license to do that. In order to obtain a license, you need to complete a course in safety and general gun knowledge, how to deal with situations that might arise that would require you to draw your weapon, Master of the Double Tap, Triple Tap if you are dispatching a Sexual Abuse Offender (guess where the third shot goes lol), along with a short quiz and then a mandatory shooting test at a practice range. I know, I am not only licensed to conceal and carry in Minnesota, but I am also a trainer of these types of classes, Gunsmith, Gun Dealer and I train some police and government agencies on gun techniques and surviving an ambush. I am also a Vet of Desert Shield/Storm, Bosnia and 2 tours in Iraq and 1 tour in Afghanistan. I was part of the Red Bull Division of the Minnesota National Guard and a former Navy Intel Specialist.

Oh, and for the uneducated idiot above that said the cop had an M4 that could fire 700 rounds per minute. NO HE DIDN'T. The problem I have with you common gun haters is that not only are your arguments foolish, but you are too lazy to even bother to take the time to educate yourself on the weapons that you hate so much. When you google things without any knowledge about them, you will get WRONG ANSWERS. I believe the Douche Canoe of the day award goes by the name madpark or some other silly handle. The M4 you referred to and gave the all reliable Wiki link to is a MILITARY ONLY M4. IT IS NOT ALLOWED FOR GENERAL POLICE USE. Some specialist police units may be allowed to use one or two of them, but that is ONLY if they receive massive amounts of training from an expert like myself. So, what did he have? It is a Model 90289 Bushmaster M4 TYPE Patrolmans Carbine. I know, you whining Liberals are crying, "What's the difference?" Well, it's actually kind of big. The Military M4 is an official Assault Rifle that has a selector switch to shoot Semi-Automatic (one round fired for each pull of the trigger) and it can also shoot Fully Automatic (pull the trigger once and hold it and it unloads all the rounds (bullets) at once in a matter of seconds). The M4 Patrolmans Carbine is a Civilian weapon and it CAN ONLY SHOOT IN SEMI-AUTOMATIC MODE. This means it CANNOT shoot your 700 rounds per minute. Knowledge is power, people. Research is your friend. God can't save you, but an M240 can.

Now, to the poor Minnesota police shooting victim that was a Crips gang member, at least at one time, who was a repeat criminal offender, who appears to NOT have had a legal conceal and carry permit and my favorite, ROBBED A CONVENIENCE STORE A FEW DAYS AGO. Yes, you heard it right. This squeaky clean school cafeteria worker isn't the model citizen his weird girlfriend said he was. HE DID have a gun on him in his right hand pocket. No one really knows what was said before everything happened, but we do know the broken taillight? That was a ruse to pull him over and check him out as the officer that stopped him saw that he resembled, very closely, one of two men that had robbed a local gas station with a gun a few days before that.

So now you see that things are not quite what that weirdly calm girlfriend who was filming everything as she is sitting next to her dead boyfriend, covered in blood, who didn't lift a finger to help him NOR did she bother to check on her 4 year old child in the backseat.

Funny how when the knee jerk hysteria of the racist terror group called Black Lives Matter quiets down, facts start to emerge.

Keep tuned in folks, this is only going to get better. And Melissa honey, nobody likes a stupid white girl too lazy to do a little research before she starts talking out of her vagina.

Can you feel me now? Make America Great Again. Don't you hate it when a lowly Trump supporter owns you on your own blogspot? Life is good.

Charlie Mas said...

The problem is how the community, especially the urban African-American community, views the police and their work and how the police view their work and the urban African-American community.

The proper relationship is for the police to view their work as protecting people's rights and to see all members of the community as citizens who deserve to have their rights protected, and for the community to perceive the police as protectors of our rights and to perceive their work with that goal.

Unfortunately too many members of the community view the police as an occupying military force and too many police officers play into that perception by viewing their work as focused on discovering violations and catching violators.

These perceptions create unnecessary conflict. I encourage people to look into efforts to foster a better relationship between the community and the police, such as Campaign Zero.

Melissa Westbrook said...

Dear Dr. Death (that's what Tom H calls himself and that should tell you all you need to know),
blah, blah, blah - and now, back to the adult discussion.

Anonymous said...

There's much speculation going on here, Here's an update,

The attorney for the officer, Geronimo Yanez, now tells Kare 11 that Yanez was reacting to “the presence of that gun and the display of that gun” – not race – when he shot Philando Castile. The lawyer said Yanez is Latino. On the video, Reynolds said Castile had a concealed carry permit, which has not been confirmed.

1.The officer was a Latino, not white.
2.Philando did have a gun.
3.Philando could have been licensed, but it not clear at this time.
4.The traffic stop possibly was not for a broken stop light.
5.The officer thought Philando resembled at robbery suspect and thats why the car was stopped.

I'm reverting back to my original claim of guns being the common denominator in these two case. If you're going to carry a gun you need to fully understand the ramifications.


NRA

n said...

"resembled a robbery suspect" - that sounds familiar. Getting their stories straight now I guess. How naive are you, NRA? Why why "NRA" anyway? What's that got to do with anything?

From The Guardian, Dec.2015:
https://www.theguardian.com/us-news/2015/dec/31/the-counted-police-killings-2015-young-black-men

Non-white Americans make up less than 38% of US population yet almost half of all people killed by police are minorities and minorities make up more unarmed people killed by police

These are facts as opposed to your speculation above. But your stubborness in the face of facts and your dogged determination to acquit law enforcement of all blame and racism will keep your belief in white superiority alive and well. That is the one thing I have concluded for sure.


Melissa Westbrook said...

NRA, I said go away. I'm not taking your comments as "reporting."