Reason.com

Free Minds & Free Markets

The NRA Shuns a Second Amendment Martyr

Philando Castile died because he exercised his right to bear arms.

Philando Castile did what you are supposed to do if you have a concealed-carry permit and get pulled over by police: He let the officer know he had a gun. Had Castile been less forthcoming, he would still be alive.

Last Friday a Minnesota jury acquitted the cop who killed Castile of second-degree manslaughter, demonstrating once again how hard it is to hold police accountable when they use unnecessary force. The verdict also sends a chilling message to gun owners, since Castile is dead because he exercised his constitutional right to keep and bear arms.

Jeronimo Yanez, an officer employed by the St. Anthony, Minnesota, police department, stopped Castile around 9 p.m. on July 6 in Falcon Heights, a suburb of Minneapolis and St. Paul. The official reason was a nonfunctioning brake light.

The actual reason, according to Yanez, was that Castile resembled a suspect in a convenience store robbery that had happened four days before in the same neighborhood. The full extent of the resemblance was that Castile, like the suspect, was black, wore glasses and dreadlocks, and had a "wide-set nose."

Castile, a 32-year-old cafeteria manager, had nothing to do with the robbery. But in Yanez's mind, Castile posed a threat.

The traffic stop began politely but turned deadly within a minute. Audio and video of the encounter show that Yanez asked for Castile's proof of insurance and driver's license.

After Castile handed over his insurance card, he calmly informed Yanez, "Sir, I have to tell you that I do have a firearm on me." Yanez interrupted him, saying, "OK, don't reach for it, then."

Castile and his girlfriend, Diamond Reynolds, who was sitting in the front passenger seat, repeatedly assured the officer that Castile was not reaching for the weapon. But by now Yanez was in full panic mode.

"Don't pull it out!" he screamed, immediately drawing his weapon and firing seven rounds into the car, heedless of Reynolds and her 4-year-old daughter, who was in the backseat. Mortally wounded, Castile moaned and said, "I wasn't reaching for it."

Reynolds, who drew nationwide attention to the shooting by reporting it via Facebook Live immediately afterward, has consistently said Castile was reaching for his wallet to retrieve his driver's license, per Yanez's instructions. Yanez initially said he thought Castile was reaching for his gun; later he claimed to have seen Castile pulling out the pistol, which was found inside a front pocket on the right side of the dead man's shorts.

Yanez clearly acted out of fear. The question is whether that fear was reasonable in the circumstances and whether deadly force was the only way to address it.

Jeffrey Noble, an expert on police procedure, testified that Yanez's actions were "objectively unreasonable." The officer had "absolutely no reason" to view Castile as a robbery suspect, Noble said, and could have mitigated the threat he perceived by telling Castile to put his hands on the dashboard or stepping back from the car window.

If Castile planned to shoot Yanez, why would he announce that he had a firearm? That disclosure was obviously aimed at avoiding trouble but had the opposite effect because Yanez was not thinking clearly.

Officers like Yanez, who is leaving his department under a "voluntary separation agreement," pose a clear and present danger to law-abiding gun owners. Yet the National Rifle Association (NRA) has been curiously reticent about the case.

A day after the shooting, the NRA said "the reports from Minnesota are troubling and must be thoroughly investigated." It promised "the NRA will have more to say once all the facts are known."

The reports have been investigated, and the facts are known. Yet the NRA has not added anything to the bland, noncommittal statement it made a year ago. You'd think "the nation's largest and oldest civil rights organization" would have more to say about an innocent man who was killed for exercising his Second Amendment rights.

© Copyright 2017 by Creators Syndicate Inc.

Editor's Note: We invite comments and request that they be civil and on-topic. We do not moderate or assume any responsibility for comments, which are owned by the readers who post them. Comments do not represent the views of Reason.com or Reason Foundation. We reserve the right to delete any comment for any reason at any time. Report abuses.

  • Scarecrow Repair & Chippering||

    I joined the NRA in spite of their political alarmism simply because they keep a lot of legislators in line. I despise their scare tactics, Wayne LaPierre or whatever his name is, I don't read their magazine, I vote for whoever they recommend against in their annual elections.

    They bring to mind the worst kind of thoughts of organizations who are scared to death of succeeding, because then they'd have no way to scare people into sending money. A despicable organization, exceeded only by Demanding Mommies and Bloomberg and The Astronaut's walking talking puppet wife.

  • Chipper Morning, Now #1||

    Fully agree. And the GOA is no better.

  • Zeb||

    I stopped giving to them pretty much exactly because of what you say here. Especially the scare tactics and constant fundraising appeals.

    It's good that they exist, but they are fucking annoying.

  • cravinbob||

    Pardon me, but you are a supercilious pinhead.

  • Sulla||

    [I'm getting real tired of this]

    Look guy, you either make a better argument or you fuck off. Calling that dude names doesn't negate what he said; it reinforces it.

  • ||

    I found Officer Castile's tearful testimony that he was "afraid he was going to die" to be contemptible considering he was outside the car and able to retreat behind the suspect.

    Furthermore, I just saw the video today, and he ordered the suspect three times not to reach for the gun. Now how stupid do you have to be to continue fishing around in your pockets when you hear that order?

    What the heck is wrong with this author and the rest of you that you think Reynold did nothing wrong - he ignored clear and escalating urgent orders from the Officer? Maybe I am in an alternative universe where the suspect could have been reaching for the gun he declared to have, whereas everyone else seems to already know that he isn't.

    This article is published on a website called "Reason.com," right? While Castile maybe never ought to have been a cop given his unrealistic level of fear while on the street, Reynolds took the firearms training to get a conceal and carry and must have been told the correct procedure in such a situation, and it wasn't to continue to fish in your pockets when the Officer is going crazy outside.

  • NCBlueJay||

    Yanez was the officer, not Castile. Castile was the shooting victim, not Reynolds. Reynolds was Castile's girlfriend. I agree that Castile should have stopped moving once the officer started "going crazy," but I'd also, you know, prefer it if our law enforcement officials didn't "go crazy" when they learn there's a gun in the car.

  • NYC2AZ||

    "(I'd)...prefer it if our law enforcement officials didn't "go crazy" when they learn there's a gun in the car."

    Criminals generally don't tell cops they are armed. This cop acted completely unhinged. The whole string of events, from the shooting to the lack of response from the "gun rights" organizations, is downright contemptible.

  • cravinbob||

    Your comment is contemptible. The NRA needs to do nothing and owes you nothing. A person kills someone who exhibited no threat to them should be, at this moment, under indictment and charged with murder just as any other citizen would be. A badge endows no one with wisdom, logic or immunity. That the NRA should be doing something I must know what that would be? Protecting and serving you? Or perhaps you can go through The Constitution again yourself and stop being an armchair coward, which I find to be contemptible. "Gun rights" in quotes means what exactly? "Right to bear arms"?

  • Sulla||

    That the NRA should be doing something I must know what that would be? Protecting and serving you? Or perhaps you can go through The Constitution again yourself and stop being an armchair coward, which I find to be contemptible. "Gun rights" in quotes means what exactly? "Right to bear arms"?

    What the fuck is this guy talking about? Anyone? Is there one among you capable of translating derp?

  • NYC2AZ||

    @cravinbob: Eat an entire bag of ass holes you fucking cockbag piece of shit. You know what I meant and your word salad of bullshit strawmen doesn't deflect the projection of your cowardice.

  • cravinbob||

    Nothing like intelligent dialog is there? Is there any here? No.

  • ||

    You know, you all are pretty naive. Why did Castile get shot even though he did nothing wrong? Why did Yanez freak out? Why did he get off when he obviously committed at least involuntary manslaughter? Why doesn't the NRA say anything? The answer can be given in three words. I'm sure I won't have to tell you what they are if you just think about it for a few seconds.

  • Scarecrow Repair & Chippering||

    Reynolds did NOT ignore the coward's orders -- he was NOT reaching for his gun, and he WAS reaching for his driver's license.

    What the heck is wrong with YOU? How would you have dealt with a crazy coward issuing contradictory orders after a bullshit fishing traffic stop?

  • Juice||

    Who is Reynolds?

  • IceTrey||

    The gf.

  • Seamus||

    IOW, not a "he," not someone who was reaching for a driver's license, and about whom there was no question of whether she was reaching for a gun. Scarecrow needs to get the cast of characters straight. Reading that comment was almost as confusing as the one about "Officer Castile" up above.

  • LST||

    "Reynolds took the firearms training to get a conceal and carry and must have been told the correct procedure in such a situation..."

    MN law only requires permit holders to inform an officer they are carrying when asked. I you are not asked, you are not required to say anything at all. There is no "correct" procedure.

    A large number of instructors do recommend to their students they inform an officer right away despite the fact they are not required to do so, and despite the obvious dangers in doing so...

  • Ken Hagler||

    The CHL instructor I went to here in Texas (who had been a cop for 20+ years) explained that you should _very carefully_ tell the cop that you had a CHL and were armed (with emphasis on that exact order) because if you didn't do so and the cop realized you were armed he was likely to go berserk.

  • Disgusted||

    Texas has a specific legal requirement for you to notify the officer if you are armed, when asked for identification.

    In practice, I've found that it's helpful to tell them whether you are armed or not, and show your CHL along with license and insurance. They'll find out when they run your license for warrants, anyway.

    I don't know MN law, so I'll defer to LST on that issue.

  • Ken Hagler||

    That's not the case. The requirement is that you show them your CHL if you are armed and asked for ID. You are _not_ legally required to tell them you are armed--although, as the instructor took care to stress, not doing so is unwise to the point of being somewhat suicidal.

  • Lorenzo Valla||

    That's my understanding as well. And, if you're not armed, you have no requirement to inform them of your permit. In reality, they will already know.

    I live in a pretty nice neighborhood with basically no crime and got pulled over for rolling thru a stop sign. I wasn't carrying and didn't mention that I had a license, but the cop asked me about it. They had two patrol cars for the stop. While one guy was doing the paperwork, they kept another cop at my passenger side window.

    He said he was there to provide backup for the others if necessary. Jeez. Total Barney Fife routine.

    I only got a warning for the stop, so that was good, but it was pretty ridiculous.

    And, before anyone says that cops acting nervous around guns is 'normal', I'll note that I live in Austin and work right by the capitol building and I sometimes go there. Because I have a permit, I can skip the metal detector and the long lines. They have a state trooper who checks the permit and waves you on. They are very friendly and don't treat me suspiciously for following the law.

  • BillCa||

    The best method I've found is to make copies of your carry permit, registration, driver's license and insurance information all on one sheet of paper. Put that in a ziploc bag in the car. When stopped, hand it to the officer with the D/L and Carry permit showing and state "here's a copy of my license can carry permit" then state "I am carrying. How would you like to proceed officer?" This gives him full control over what happens next. If he wants your original D/L and it's near your gun, tell him "I'd have to reach near my firearm to reach it. I don't want to do that without your permission." Again, you give him control. And of course, you do what he tells you unless it may give him the impression you're "going for" your gun. Then it's slow down and do things step by step so he understands you're avoiding any unpleasantness.

  • Jury Nullification||

    Bill, my big question for you is, who wipes the gizz off your chin when the stop is over? You know, so the cop still feels in control....that post-ejaculate hysteria is nothing to play with and one would not want to unnecessarily spook a cop.

  • Johnimo||

    Jury, you're just being an asshole. BillCa is trying to give people a formula for surviving a police stop. It's well thought out advice and anyone carrying concealed (or not) would be well advised to make certain the policeman feels safe when he's dealing with an unknown situation. Should it be this way? No, but it is. Most stops by the police should never happen at all, but they do and we have to be prepared to SURVIVE.

  • Heraclitus||

    And where do you keep this bag? It has to be out in the open because if it is "in" or "under" anything that cop is going to put 4 shots in you (if your black).

    This is crazy though. Is the cop a grizzly bear? It sounds like we are giving advise on how to deal with wild animals. "Remain calm, hold out your hand and let the cop smell you. If pleased, bend over and let the cop smell your butt".

  • Ship of Theseus||

    You don't seem to understand who has the rights in this situation.

    "How dare the victim not act perfectly upon being threatened with force from an official agent of the government."

  • LynchPin1477||

    10 seconds pass between Castile informing the cop that he had a gun and the last shot going off. That means Castille had something like 7 seconds or less to stop "fishing in [his] pockets" before the cop made the decision to start shooting. And the cop never tells him to freeze, never tells him to put his hands on the wheel, only not to reach for the gun. Castile followed those orders.

  • ||

    Castille had something like 7 seconds or less to stop "fishing in [his] pockets" before the cop made the decision to start shooting

    ^ This.

    Listening to the audio, Castile had no meaningful opportunity to "follow directions." The cop clearly flipped his lid out of sheer panic and started shooting.

    He didn't even see a gun, but he felt he needed to put seven bullets into Castile's torso.

    That's indefensible cowardice on the cop's part.

  • Johnimo||

    How do you know the policeman never saw the gun?

  • Careless||

    Aside from the fact that it never left his body and the asshole who murdered him never claimed to have seen it?

  • MG58||

    This is a good point, especially with regard to good policing. The negative command played a role in creating the ambiguity that caused the trigger happy cop to shoot. If instead of just saying "don't reach for the gun" you tell him exactly what to do, he has a much better opportunity to both follow your order and not make you think he's not following it. The cop would have a much better defense argument if he could say "in spite of my ordering the driver to place his hands on the wheel, he continued putting his hands near the holstered gun."

  • Cynical Asshole||

    You may very well be the dumbest motherfucker I've ever seen comment on the internet. Congratulations, that's no small feat. Fuck off, retard.

  • dantheserene||

    As has been covered, we have only the shooter's word regarding any movement from the victim.

  • Jujucat||

    What about Reynold's word?

  • Zeb||

    Yeah, why is everyone talking about this as if there were no witnesses besides the cop and the dead guy?

  • IceTrey||

    Actually Yanez says "Don't pull it out" and he didn't. The gun fell out of his pocket when the EMTs picked him up. Yanez even admitted the next day he never saw the gun.

  • Zeb||

    As far as I'm concerned, the fact that the officer lost his shit for no good reason is reason enough to hold him culpable for Castile's death. You are right that Castile could have behaved in a way that might have saved his life. He may have been foolish, but that doesn't mean he should die. The cop is supposed to be the professional who knows how to behave in high stress, potentially dangerous situations. There is no reason to expect a regular person going about his business to know that you have to treat this asshole cop like a cornered animal (even though you are the one who is cornered).

    It's all on the cop. If you want to be police, you need to be willing to take some risks and not shoot unless you know you have no other choice. Fuck this cop. He deserves a good woodchippering and then a special place in hell.

  • ||

    He deserves a good woodchippering and then a special place in hell.

    Tossing both out, huh?

    Brave man.

  • croaker||

    Getting his licks in before "Back The Blue" makes that statement a federal felony.

  • Devastator||

    Blame on both parts, the cop shouldn't have freaked out. when I tell a cop I have a gun (i have a CCL, and carry often) my hands stay on the steering wheel. Doing anything else is kind of dumb until you see the cop is relaxed.

  • aajax||

    You do go into your pocket if the cop has demanded your f-ing license, man. If he had ceased to go for the license he would have been liable for arrest. I hope it doesn't take having a loved one being shot by a cop to wake you up.

  • Con Reeder||

    He was not properly exercising his right. You should not carry when you are under the influence.

    I feel sorry for Castile and his family. But he didn't display situational awareness, and I suspect that is largely because he was under the influence. Should the cop have shot him? Maybe not. But I cannot judge someone for being afraid of someone reaching into their pocket and refusing to stop after announcing they have a firearm.

  • loveconstitution1789||

    See the 2nd Amendment does not say what the proper way to exercise your right to bear arms is because there is not one. As long as you don't hurt anyone else, you can exercise your right to bear arms as you wish. That is the point.

    Cops should not be afraid of everyone up to and including people brandishing weapons. If you are scared of people with weapons, then you are in the wrong job. You are the cop and should uphold and enforce the law.

    In this case, the law and the Constitution did not give the cop the right to murder this guy. A jury felt otherwise, but Jeronimo Yanez committed murder and will always be known for that even though he was acquitted. This cop set back weapon carry by years by murdering a guy who announced that he was legally carrying evidently because the cop is scared of black guys with legal carry who don't shoot at the officer.

    I think the NRA should have put more to go after the officer but the NRA just does not do that. The NRA scares people into buying guns and contributing money. The NRA does not go for full support of the 2nd Amendment, which is zero restrictions. The NRA picks its battles and that is why I don't give them money. Maybe its time for the NRA to go and a better gun rights organization come along fighting for complete 2nd Amendment protection.

  • LynchPin1477||

    What evidence do you have that he was under the influence?

    Also, see my post above. Almost no time transpired between the cop issuing his orders (which Castile followed) and his decision to start shooting.

  • TW||

    The toxicology report showing THC in his bloodstream. And the girlfriend testifying that they smoked marijuana together on a daily basis nearly every day for the last two or three years.

  • ||

    That's not the kind of "under the influence" that leads to rapidly executed errors in judgment.

    That adds an element of "cop panics when confronted by sluggish stoner." Which doesn't help my evaluation of the cop, personally.

  • x'); DROP USER Tony;||

    If they were daily smokers, it wasn't affecting them like that. Unless they JUST blazed like a motherfucker. You can't even tell you're talking to a daily smoker most of the time.

  • Paul E||

    I have a Carry permit in MN and you do not have to tell the officer you have a gun unless asked and you are also instructed in class to keep your hands visible (on the steering wheel preferably) at all time and follow all instructions. Philando continued to reach to his pockets after being instructed not to, there is pretty much no better way to ensure you get yourself shot.

  • LynchPin1477||

    Castile was instructed to get his license. He was also instructed not to reach for his gun. He followed both. Even if he exactly follow recommended best practices, that is no excuse for the officer shooting him dead. He broke no laws, did not pose a threat, and the officer started panicking almost instantly. Rather than keep himself calm, give clearer instructions, and diffuse the situation, the cop put 7 bullets in an innocent man. There is no excuse. Castile is in no way responsible for that cops criminal behavior.

  • LST||

    Alternatively, he kept reaching for his ID after being ordered to do so.

    I am a Permit instructor in MN and my recommendation to all my students is this - if you ever hear conflicting commands, either from a single officer as in this case, or from multiple officers - immediately freeze. Ask for clarification if possible, or just wait for the officers to physically make follow whichever command they, in their mind, think they are expecting you to comply with.

    Expect this to end up with a pissed off cop and you being manhandled, pushed / shoved / thrown to the ground, and likely cuffed. But at least you won't get shot.

    Always prepare for worst case scenario. The vast majority of interactions with officers will happen without incident, but I never recommend anyone assume their specific interaction will be part of that vast majority...

  • ||

    Lovely.

    Cops put people in an impossible position so they have to choose the least favorable/dangerous one.

  • croaker||

    Now imagine this exact same scenario, only now the "Back The Blue Act of 2017" has become law.

    That "impossible position" can now be extrapolated to the federal crime of assault on a police officer, good for ten years in Pound-Me-In-The-Ass Federal Prison.

  • Zeb||

    None of that means that the cop wasn't totally in the wrong to shoot him. The cop is supposed to be the one who can handle dangerous situations. The guy driving a car is just a guy going about his business.

  • Devastator||

    You aren't being realistic. In an ideal world we'd all have unicorns that fart rainbows, but we don't. Put your hands on the steering wheel until the cop quits freaking out.

  • WakaWaka||

    I'll expect the NRA to speak-up on this matter (which they should) when the ACLU starts defending nine out of the ten Bill of Rights and stops opining on political issues like healthcare reform. I'll hold my breath.

    But, what does this have to do with Russia? I need more Russia fever dreams

  • croaker||

    Face facts: The NRA is going by the melanin content of the victim.

    Which is why they are the largest gun control organization in the USA.

  • Mataratones||

    Not likely. I was subscribed to their political magazine once (before I realized I could be a member without a magazine subscription) and they put a black woman on the cover because of a similar problem. However, in her case, the cop was fine, it was the fact that she was caught carrying in NJ that led to jail time and the NRA could attack the attorney general.

    I suspect in this case that they are avoiding anything that could appear to attack the police. It's not right, but it's better than doing it for racial reasons.

  • RobertFl||

    If a cop is telling you, repeatedly, not to reach for the gun, the proper response is, STOP moving, ask the cop how to proceed.
    I can certainly envision the scenario, "I'm not reaching, I'm not reaching, BANG - gotta go". We've seen that scenario many many times.

  • LynchPin1477||

    If someone tells you repeatedly that they are not reaching for their gun, the proper response is to give them clearer orders and to remove yourself from the situation if needed.

    But I can clearly envision a scenario where, in a manner of seconds, the cop panics, gives conflicting orders, and kills an innocent person, and makes no effort to even try to render first aid. And then admits that he didn't know where the gun was. I can envision it because that's exactly what happens in the police dashcam footage of this crime.

  • EscherEnigma||

    If a cop is telling you, repeatedly, not to reach for the gun, the proper response is, STOP moving, ask the cop how to proceed.
    ... So we're expecting the untrained civilian to do the "proper" thing, but letting the cop off the hook for doing the "improper" thing?

    Yeah, that sounds reasonable.

  • junyo||

    Well that was because the cop was afraid for his life and the citizen was completely safe.

    Wait a second...

  • Ladyhawk||

    "untrained civilian"?? Do they not tell you how to behave if you have your weapon on you and the cops stop you? If not, that is a huge and totally solvable issue.

  • EscherEnigma||

    Do they not tell you how to behave if you have your weapon on you and the cops stop you? If not, that is a huge and totally solvable issue.
    From a quick search of Minnesota's concealed-carry law... no, they do not. It appears to be a "shall issue" state for anyone over 21. I didn't find any mention of required training, safety standards, storage standards, and so-on.

    It's also not, according to the NRA, a solvable issue, as they oppose the exact kind of extensive training and certification regime that would be required to trump natural instincts. They also argue that concealed carry permits should be transferable across state lines (meaning that whatever the least requirements are would effectively apply nationwide).

    Even if you could get a state that required such, it's likely that without frequent "refresher" courses that it wouldn't stick.

    So no. Being able to act calmly and rationally in a threatening highly stressful situation when a man with a gun is yelling at you? That's not something we can ever reasonably expect of civilians.

  • EscherEnigma||

    Correction, I did find that Minnesota has a training requirement. This can be met with a three-hour course. So sure, you may have an instructor in Minnesota tell you what you're supposed to do. But in a three hour annual course, that's not part of your reaction.

  • croaker||

    How about training cops not to be dicks?

  • croaker||

    This is why Chris Rock's "how not to get beat up by a cop" has become so necessary.

  • Unlabelable MJGreen||

    Name one.

    Bonus points if the person voluntarily announces that he is armed, before doing this little move.

  • IceTrey||

    That's not what Yanez says. He says "Don't pull it out".

  • Zeb||

    I'm sure that's the wise thing to do, given the pieces of shit who tend to become cops.

    But there should be no legal expectation that you behave that way. So why are people bringing it up so often?

  • EscherEnigma||

    Well, there's two sides of it.

    One is "they should have done X" and the other is "we expect them to do X".

    The first is providing strategies for survival. Like telling women they should never leave their drink unattended at a bar, or that trick about holding their keys a certain way while walking to their car so they can shiv anyone that tries to jump them. They can be useful strategies to not become a victim.

    The second is blaming the victim. Because they didn't do X, it's their fault.

    Personally, I'm fine with the first. People need to know how to survive encounters with police, how to not trigger them, how to de-escalate a situation with them. It's wrong that they need to know, and people that don't aren't responsible for what happens. But people need to know anyway.

    It's a fine line between blaming the victim and learning from the victim.

  • JoelKatz||

    We can all imagine things everyone could have done better that would have avoided this particular unfortunate outcome. That doesn't change the fact that Castille was given conflicting commands and was able to comply with all of them. At any time the cop could have told him to stop moving, could have directed him to exit the vehicle, or could have given an unambiguous command. We expect the cops to be trained and to do the right thing, even if civilians don't perfectly untangle precisely what is expected of them.

    I think it's indisputable that this cop completely lost his mind for no good reason and fell absurdly short of the most lenient bar we could possibly hold policeman to. I don't think it's obvious that he's criminally responsible though. He's panicked for no good reason -- is that really a crime?

  • Zeb||

    He's panicked for no good reason -- is that really a crime?

    If you shoot someone who doesn't need shooting? Yes, I think it is.

  • ||

    Yes - it's negligent manslaughter at the very least.

  • croaker||

    Which is what anyone not carrying the magic badge of protection would be facing.

  • FreeRoy||

    Thank you, Square.

  • swampwiz||

    I think that cops have forfeited their rights to deal with members of the public inside cars since they think that they are going to get ambushed by a gun-wielding occupant, and thus are hypersensitive to any action that does not comport with a narrow interpretation of what should happen.; this is much, much more of a problem with black folks, which is why there seem to be a plethora of stories of cops shooting law-abiding black folks that getting shot for no reason. (It should be noted that there still are plenty of completely justified shootings in which the black man was not complying with police orders, and it is vitally important that not all cases of police shooting a black man be viewed upon as being the same issue.)

    It's time to develop and R2D2 type of robot that can interact with the public so that the cop does not have to concern himself with being scared. Maybe the advent of the driverless car & taxi will stop all this pesky police hassling of car occupants since they will simply be taxi customers and won't need to be carrying car registration & insurance, and especially a state ID.

  • Paul E||

    64 police officers were shot dead in the line of duty last year, but yeah, you go with the fact that no one shots at cops. It must be nice and peaceful in the bubble you live in, unlike the war zones that are the inner city.

    FYI, more white people are killed by police every year, but yeah... you keep going with your nonsense.

  • LynchPin1477||

    Those are not "war zone" level death rates. That's far less than one death per "inner city" area. Stop with the hyperbole. And the people shooting cops aren't calmly telling them they have a gun on them while their girlfriend and a kid are in the car.

    Take race out of this scenario completely and there is still no justification for Castile being shot.

  • LST||

    Cops are much less likely to be killed in the line of duty now then they've been for most of the last century. The only period they've been safer was the 40's & 50's.

    http://www.nleomf.org/facts/of...../year.html

  • ||

    64 cops for 330M population is a minuscule number and most certainly not sufficient to assume by default everyone shoots the cops. Lot of those murders happened as a conspiracy and could not have been avoided by precautions.

    Secondly, it is not about the absolute numbers. We should only look at wrongful deaths by cops and expect 1 out of every 8 victims to be black because blacks constitute 13% of the US population (approx.). But in reality every 4th victim is Black.

  • reasonator||

    Maybe cops assuming by default everyone wants to shoot a cop is what keeps so few cops from actually getting shot.

  • croaker||

    If cops think that everyone is out to get them, maybe they should be taking a look at their assumptions about what the job entails. #dontbeadick

  • Curmudgeon44||

    "We should only look at wrongful deaths by cops and expect 1 out of every 8 victims to be black because blacks constitute 13% of the US population (approx.)".

    Which would be the case if criminals and non-criminals were equally likely to be wrongfully shot by cops.

  • Delius||

    "more white people are killed by police every year"

    There are five times as many white people in this country as black people, but only twice as many shooting victims. Learn some fucking math.

  • ToCa81||

    I agree with the point being made that black people are wrongfully targeted more often, but they also commit a disproportionately higher rate of violent crime. That 13% is responsible for about 50% of murders and assaults. They are also far more likely to commit a crime against every other race than vice versa. This is no way excuses the horrible state of our current police forces, but perhaps you should learn some fucking math before spouting off at people.

  • ||

    That 13% is responsible for about 50% of murders and assaults.

    No - about 1% of that 13% is responsible for about 50% of murders and assaults. People who don't commit murder and assault are not responsible for murders and assaults committed by people who have the same skin color as them.

  • DJK||

    Yes, only individuals commit crimes. That's all fine and dandy, but the comment was made with respect to the numbers brought up by previous commenters. If a particular group is engaging in violent crimes at a heightened rate, it's reasonable to conclude that that group would engage with police more often and be killed in engagements with police more often. Again, this doesn't excuse police abuses. But it does suggest that there's something more than just a racism problem.

  • ||

    But it does suggest that there's something more than just a racism problem.

    And no one, to my knowledge, suggested that there isn't. I even commented below that I thought the Drug War plays a significant part.

    "The numbers brought up by previous commenters" were brought up in order to show that white people are not the primary victims, as Paul E asserted.

    What are you arguing, exactly?

  • DJK||

    Huh? Read from Delius on.

  • ||

    Read from Delius on

    Okay - if I ignore the beginning of the conversation, then I guess your comment makes sense.

  • ToCa81||

    I never said they were. I'm disgusted anytime an innocent is murdered by the police, as every comment I've made in both recent articles about Mr. Castille can attest. I'm looking strictly at the numbers. In 2013, 52% of murder arrests were black Americans, while 45% were white/Hispanic Americans. Other violent crimes tend to follow this trend, meaning the police are more likely to deal with black suspects than population percentages suggest. If twice as many whites really are shot by police, then the narrative that blacks are constantly persecuted by police while whites are treated with kid gloves is patently false. But this is a complicated issue, and there is no black and white (ha) answer. I do believe blacks are unfairly profiled and targeted more than whites, but I don't believe it's nearly as rampant as the media would have you believe. I also believe there is a serious problem of violence within the black community, and it's not going to be fixed by looking for outside agitators to blame.

  • ||

    To recap:

    swampwiz facetiously suggested that cops not be allowed to interact with people when they feel fearful.

    Paul E responded that cops are the real victims here, and far more white people are killed by cops than black people are.

    Delius then pointed out the statistical reality that accounts for that.

    *You* (ToCa81) then countered Delius with an insult and the observation that black people are more likely to be criminals and the declaration that "That 13% is responsible for about 50% of murders and assaults," which is what I disagreed with.

    Plus, it's worth point out that the statement "52% of murder arrests were black Americans, while 45% were white/Hispanic Americans" does not necessarily equal the statement "52% of murderers were black Americans, while 45% were white/Hispanic Americans."

    Historically, blacks are on the record as being much more likely to be arrested for raping white ladies, too.

  • ToCa81||

    That's pretty much it. And I was only throwing Delius' own insult back at him. But I'm not quite sure how you can disagree with the statistics I quoted. They are numbers, not opinions. Perhaps you meant to say you draw a different conclusion from them? I'm not trying to infer at all that innocent black Americans are somehow responsible for the crimes committed by other black people. That would be 100% racist and against my belief in what this country should stand for. My original post was only meant to criticize his analysis that black people are shot by the police at a higher rate than white people, which is statistically incorrect. As I said, though, that doesn't mean that black Americans are being treated as fairly by the law as white Americans. And I agree with your last statement that arrests do not equal convictions. I do believe blacks are more likely to be wrongfully arrested, and also wrongfully convicted. However, I don't believe the number of these judicial miscarriages bridges the statistical gap, but that's sort of getting off topic. Any case where an innocent American is murdered by a police officer, as I believe is the case with Mr. Castille, should be denounced by all of us.

  • Juice||

    There are five times as many white people in this country as black people

    Maybe in total, but in some places, it's somewhere between 50/50 and 60/40 either way.

  • junyo||

    Cops in the US are literally more likely to die from a bee sting than they are from an act of on the job violence, yet people continue to push this ridiculous line of rationalization. Being a farmer is more dangerous than being a cop. Being a truck driver is more dangerous than being a cop. And to my knowledge, we don't draft cops, it's completely voluntary. So you don't get to take a job you're too chickenshit scared to do without panic firing at any threat, real or imagined, and then get to use the fairly minor risk to your safety as an excuse.

  • croaker||

    Perhaps we should draft cops.

  • Qsl||

    Just as an aside, when no-knock search warrants were coming into vogue, I tried to find official numbers on the number of civilian deaths associated.

    You can't. There are none.

    But we know how many cops die each year.

  • Cynical Asshole||

  • ||

    64, huh?

    Well, good thing they don't work in a dangerous profession, like construction.

  • croaker||

    Or working on a crab boat in Alaska.

  • AZ Gunowner||

    the fact that some officers get killed in the line of duty in no way justifies or excuses Castile's death.

    his death was totally due to the cop who was clearly not acting in self-defense (hence this was murder) and among other things could have easily moved out of an exposed position while continuing to figure out what Castile was doing -

    even if you think that Castile was actually going to attempt to shoot over his shoulder from a seat-belted position inside a car.

  • MG58||

    I'm not stooped in the legal definitions, but I totally buy that the cop sincerely felt his life was at risk. Of course, having sincere but terrible judgment is no defense for the act, though it obviously affects the specific charge. Whether it's murder of a certain degree or manslaughter or what, it's a shame he wasn't held accountable for having such unbelievably poor judgment that he took the life of a person who almost certainly was never going to take his.

  • croaker||

    It's an indication that this piece of work should be picking up roadside trash, not carrying a gun.

  • ||

    64? Epidemic!

  • IceTrey||

    Out of 1 million. That's .0064% or 6.4 per 100,000. The US average is 4.9.

  • Zeb||

    That's a tiny number. Much smaller than the number of people questionably shot by police. In a traffic stop situation, the driver is in much more danger than the cop. If anything, the driver should have his weapon drawn as the cop approaches, just to be safe. If cops can do that because they "fear for their lives" so can everyone else. And being shot at is part of what they sign up for. Their fucking job is to do those dangerous things so other people don't have to. That means taking on personal risks to make sure that ordinary people stay safe.

  • Devastator||

    Yeah go ahead and draw that gun as the cop is approaching you during a traffic stop and let us know how that goes for you.

  • Texasmotiv||

    It better be R2D2-like, if the robocop looks like C3PO you would see a LOT more officers being shot.

  • Ron||

    How many times have we seen people say they aren't doing something while actually doing what they claim to not be doing. Just watch cops and it happens on every show. that said is there police body cam video otherwise its all he said she said and we will never know the truth or maybe the jury got it right I don't know but it seems like a lot of jumping to conclusions without all the evidence here. Dash cam footage does not show what the driver was doing it only shows the police actions

  • UnrepentantCurmudgeon||

    If you want to watch a "cops" show and see how truly well-trained professional law enforcement officers can handle situations where they are dealing with a potentially violent offender in a car, without backup and only their wits and professional poise to rely on, watch Alaska State Troopers. It can be done. It is being done. Yanez's actions were indefensible; the St. Anthony Police Department is in disgrace and needs to completely rethink and restructure its selection and training procedures. A fact-finding trip to Fairbanks just might be in order.

  • AZ Gunowner||

    Sadly, because the jury lowered the threshold of self-defense for cops to "I feel threatened" and found this cop not guilty no such appraisal will be made.

    Did Castile make some mistakes. YES! the biggest one was telling the cops he had a gun.

    But, this was a murder of some degree. Because the cop was even more stupid.

    that said the NRA, which I've been a life member of for 45 years doesn't have much room to maneuver here.

    After all the jury said the cop was not guilty.

    Is the NRA really expected to criticize the cop after the jury said not guilty?

    the "law enforcement" community is a big constituency of the NRA (rightly or wrongly) so I don't see them touching this after the decision by the jury.

    Maybe if the jury had convicted.

    That said I'm not a big fan of the NRA despite being a life member for a variety of reasons.

  • Qsl||

    "Is the NRA really expected to criticize the cop after the jury said not guilty?"

    Regardless of guilt or not, there is an unnecessary death that could have been avoided.

    The NRA could use this as a springboard to educate law enforcement (and CCL holders alike) on how to best avoid situations like this. This seems like prime territory for their much vaunted education campaigns.

    As the number of CCL holders increase, situations like this are to become more likely. It would be good PR to emphasize to law enforcement the need to issue clear, concise instructions under tense situations and for citizens to acknowledge that Officer Friendly might be a bundle of nerves, ready to kill at the slightest provocation, and act accordingly.

  • Cynical Asshole||

    A fact-finding trip to Fairbanks just might be in order.

    An Alaskan vacation at taxpayer's expense? /sarc

  • Ron||

    Watch Live PD thats even better and the cops seem to make an effort to behave themselves while on live tV

  • Juice||

    the St. Anthony Police Department is in disgrace and needs to completely rethink and restructure its selection and training procedures.

    Well, they DID fire him.

  • LST||

    I don't know if "voluntary separation" is quite the same as "firing"...

    "The city of St. Anthony said in a statement that the "public will be best served if Officer Yanez is no longer a police officer in our city." The city will offer Yanez a "voluntary separation agreement" to help him transition to another career, it said."

    http://abcnews.go.com/US/minne.....d=48003144

  • croaker||

    Does he play the piano? Because if he does he can find honest work in a cat house.

  • Hank Phillips||

    Not the way Yanez fired Castille.

  • Zeb||

    I say if Castille didn't have his gun out in a menacing way, the cop had no justification to shoot him. And no one is contesting the fact that he didn't have his gun out.

  • Trainer||

    He clearly states he was "nervous" to one of the police officers. Nervous and afraid are two different things. He shot because he was being a Barney Fife not because he was in fear for his life.

  • TommyInIdaho||

    Barney Fife carried an empty piece and one round in his shirt pocket that took him forever to load in his nervous state. If only Officer Yanez had emulated him...

  • Trainer||

    It wasn't always like that. Barney had that empty piece because of previous incidences. I can't remember whether he shot another person, himself or inside the jail but Andy made him put the bullet in his pocket from then on out.

  • croaker||

    Except for that one time there was a breakout at the State Prison and the long guns came out.

  • C. S. P. Schofield||

    OK, several thoughts;

    If there was a police officer outside my drivers side window babbling the way this bluecoat was, I wouldimedfiately put my hands on the dash (not the wheel) and hope he calmed down, fast.

    The officer was an idiot, and needs to be found a job where his stress level is considerably lower. Mess kit inspection in Nome Alaska springs to mind.

    Nobody in this mess comes off smelling too good. The least smelly one is the shmoo the cops shot (too many people have jumbled the names, so I'm reusing myself from trying), but he still made mistakes.

    I think the NRA believes that there is no position it can take that won't cost it more political capitol than it stands to gain. That's a kinda despicable position, but one that a lot of organizations, from all over the political map, would take.

    Situations like this are why I despise "Black Lives Matter" twits and "Blue Lives Matter" fools about equally. Both camps have contributed to an atmosphere in which a policeman is so wired that he does something this stupid, and in which a jury is so swayed by rhetoric that it acquits the moron.

  • ||

    an atmosphere in which a policeman is so wired that he does something this stupid, and in which a jury is so swayed by rhetoric that it acquits the moron

    This is a result of the Drug War, not Black Lives Matter.

  • Migrant Log Chipper||

    Primarily the WOD but there were no drugs involved in this case (robbery). The hysteria pushed by B and BLM doesn't help matters.

  • Hank Phillips||

    Summary execution of an unresisting prisoner is a war crime. This included the "commando order" and downed pilot/paratrooper murders, and was one of the specific charges made at the Nuremberg trial. Then again, nobody at Nuremberg understood that aggression is the initiation of force. That thought only occurred to anyone in 1947. From 1919 through 1933 goons with guns did exactly the same thing here, but it was called national prohibition not a war on something unable to surrender, and the perps, "dry killers."

  • LynchPin1477||

    What mistakes did Castile make? He was asked for his license. He was trying to provide it. He was told not to reach for the gun. All information points to him not having reached for the gun. He was communicative and calm. The cop made the determination that he was in mortal danger in no more than 7 seconds after being calmly informed that there was a gun in the vehicle. And the cop very much seems to say that he didn't even see the gun (listen to the dashcam footage when the cop starts giving a statement to the backup).

    Sure, he could have acted differently. That doesn't mean he acted wrongly. He certainly didn't act in a way that gave the cop reasonable cause to use deadly force.

  • TrickyVic (old school)||

    If I am moving for object A, but a cop keeps yelling about not moving for object B. I'm going to quit moving period. It's obvious on my end that he's confused, and I refuse to put myself in danger by continuing to reach. It's not about right or wrong at that point. It's about self preservation.

    I'm also a firm believer that if you get scared that easily, you shouldn't be a cop.

  • ||

    I'm going to quit moving period

    And how quickly are you going to do that? In this scenario, you have about 4 seconds.

  • Devastator||

    I woud say for 99.9% of the people that we can stop moving in a fraction of a second.

  • EscherEnigma||

    If you're calmly anticipating the order to stop?

    Sure.

    If you have no idea that it's coming and you have someone with a gun yelling at you?

    Those kinds of stressors make quick accurate responses much less likely. That's why we have to train cops and soldiers. Because our natural instincts in stressful situations like that don't work well in the modern world.

  • Ladyhawk||

    "What mistakes did Castile make?"

    Castile did NOT deserve this. But he made mistakes 1) driving while high, which is illegal ; 2) possessing his legal firearm while high, which is illegal ; 3) failing to keep his hands on the wheel when ordered to by Yanez after hearing there was a firearm, 4) driving with his CHILD in his car while he was high, which is stupid and criminally negligent.

    This innocent upstanding human being was not thinking clearly. No doubt he tried to do the right thing, but his judgment was faulty due to his being high. Yanez was faced with a druggie that had a gun and was reaching behind him. He had a split second to react and he feared the worst, as he was trained to do when faced with a combination of drugs and guns.

    It was profoundly tragic. The jury could only consider what they were given as evidence, it was not their job to second-guess what was in anyone's mind in the 6 seconds of the interview. The prosecution blew it.

  • Fribley||

    WTF? "failing to keep his hands on the wheel when ordered to by Yanez after hearing there was a firearm" Officer Yanez never gave Castile such an order (you do know that there was a recording of that don't you). Writing while high is not illegal but can lead to making stupid comments.

  • Ladyhawk||

    yes you have proven that

  • ||

    Not to mention it further confuses a narrative when a cop actually does his job and without malice.

  • hullabaloorah||

    I'm not black, but I am a CHL holder who has been pulled over multiple times(I don't like speed limits.) I was told in my CHL class to follow the following procedure when I am pulled over. I have followed it without incident.

    1. Hand the officer your driver's license, proof of insurance, and CHL as soon as he approaches the vehicle. Handing the CHL is a discrete way of informing the officer you have a gun, and you are licensed to carry it all at the same time.

    2. When the officer questions you as to whether you are armed, answer truthfully. When he asks you where the firearm is you inform him with words not gestures. I was told to use 9'oclock or 3'oclock to denote direction or side of my body. If it's in the glove compartment/center console simply say that's where it is.

    3. When in doubt, keep your hands on the steering wheel at 10 and 2. This is an easy way for the officer to see where your hands are even in low-light conditions.

    I have used these guidelines every time I've been pulled over since getting my CHL, and I have never had an issue. This does not make what happened to Philando Castille justified, nor does it mean that because he didn't do these exact things he deserved to die. However, if you are going to carry concealed, you would do well to have a plan for when you are pulled over.

  • ||

    Hand the officer your driver's license

    Castile made it about six syllables into Step 1 before he had seven bullets in him.

  • hullabaloorah||

    That's because his step 1 was to tell the officer he had a gun, and then to reach for his license and registration.

  • ||

    and then to reach for his license and registration.

    In response to the cop asking him for his license and registration.

  • hullabaloorah||

    Yeah. You've missed the point entirely. Try going back and reading what I originally wrote.

    I'm not defending the cop. I'm not attacking a dead man.

  • ||

    So . . . you're not making a point at all? Just sharing?

  • TrickyVic (old school)||

    His point was you don't tell the cop you have a gun, which is what Castle did. You keep your mouth shut and reach for your license, registration, and CHL. When the cop sees the CHL, then he/she will tell you what to do.

  • Matt Black||

    Or you keep your hands on the wheel and tell the cop you have a gun. There are several ways to handle it, but what you definitely shouldn't do is tell the cop you have a gun while reaching to the area where guns are most commonly carried.

  • TW||

    I think hullabaloorah's point is that you should already have that information ready to hand to the officer by the time they are at your vehicle. If a police officer approaches a vehicle and sees someone scrambling around reaching for something - it could be their registration or proof of insurance or it could be a gun or it could be them trying to hide contraband. The best way to prevent a situation from escalating is to already have anything you'd be expected to give to the police officer ready to go by the time they're at your window. It's what we were taught in driver's ed.

  • hullabaloorah||

    TW hit it precisely.

  • ||

    Cool. Important safety tip. Good to know.

  • Disgusted||

    Unfortunately, you've contradicted yourself.

    If your information is in your wallet, how do you provide it to the officer without digging into your purse or pocket?

    At what point can you do it without appearing to be reaching for or hiding something?

    Or, do you wait until the officer approaches and then tell him where the information is, and wait for his instructions?

  • Devastator||

    yeah I don't do that. I just leave my hands on the wheel til he gets there. A lot of times they just want to see your license, most non Barney Fife towns know who you are instantly by running your plates and don't even bother with registration and insurance.

  • EscherEnigma||

    "If a police officer approaches a vehicle and sees someone scrambling around reaching for something - it could be their registration or proof of insurance or it could be a gun or it could be them trying to hide contraband"
    And that's precisely why my Driver's Ed class umpteen years ago said don't try to get things ready for the cop. Roll down the window and wait. When they ask for your license/registration/first born, then you act.

    Trying to anticipate their requests just means that, as far as they can see, you're up to something before you're even talking.

  • hullabaloorah||

    I've been pulled over about 10 times (like I said, I don't like speed limits) since I got my CHL back in 2012. I followed the steps I outlined above and have never had an issue. Your mileage may vary.

  • Hank Phillips||

    Yes, but on the positive side, after being heroically shot that many times by Yanez, it became much easier for Castile to exercise his right to remain silent.

  • AZ Gunowner||

    I don't know for sure, but I think at all states that have CC laws like AZ require you to proactively inform the officer you are carrying concealed.

    That's one reason I didn't get an AZ CCL when it first became possible about 15 yrs ago. AZ has of course been an open carry state since statehood. But no concealed carry so there were gray areas to be careful about if say you had a gun in the car.

    So, in those states you're under the gun. No help for it, if you don't you might get in trouble for breaking the CC law and perhaps lose you license.

    Now, for Constitutional carry states (no permit) I don't know. In AZ I believe that I'm not under obligation to do that (but I need to check, on the other hand I seldom actually carry concealed. In my briefcase is not concealed for example).

    But, if I'm asked whether I'm armed I can always say "I'm not answering any question officer under my 5th amendment rights". And I would suggest that most people do that in most situations.

    Followed by "am I being detained" and/or "am I free to go".

    As always, you should try to be polite, not just because it is more polite to be polite, but because your life could depend upon it.

    "Disrespect of cop" is not a crime but lots of people get beat up or arrested for doing it. The cop has the power unfortunately.

    And decisions like this jury decision only reinforce that.

  • Zeb||

    Varies in constitutional carry states. In NH, you don't have to inform them unless asked. In Maine, I think you do. In VT, you don't have to do nothin' since they have pretty much no gun laws.

  • Devastator||

    Depends on the state. You don't have to say in Texas. It's considered polite to say, but you don't have to, and there is no law requireing it.

  • defenestrate||

  • Memory Hole||

    Jesus christ that cop is fucking idiot.

  • Jerryskids||

    The NRA is the nation's largest gun control group. They've said it themselves, they're not opposed to "reasonable" gun control laws like the Brady Bill. What camel's nose?

  • Devastator||

    That might have been true in the 90s. Now they want everyone to have full autos with silencers without background checks.

  • ToCa81||

    Fuck the NRA. Not sure how gun owners can support an organization that turns its back on the cause it claims to stand for when it is needed most.

  • Half-Virtue, Half-Vice||

    This story chaps my fucking ass. Been a long time since I trolled Yahoo but it's time to spit venom in the face of cuck-hearted, old, scared, white, conservatives.

  • ||

    Been a long time since I trolled Yahoo but it's time to spit venom

    Well, I've got some news for you. . .

  • Anthimos112||

    And this right here is why i have long been a critic of the NRA under Wayne Lapierre. It is supposed to be an interest group protecting ALL gunowners rights. It has been turned into a right wing political activist group that values its relationships with far right politicians, the Republican Government, and Law Enforcement more than actually speaking out for universal gun rights. Let me clarify some points for the NRA top executives. Gun ownership is not exclusive to Conservatives. The Second Amendment doesn't just apply to Republicans. The government and law enforcement are not always the champions of our rights. Thats what you are supposed to be for. Stop being so concerned about defending law enforcement. They have their own lobbies. That is NOT your job. Your job is to defend ALL legal gunowners rights. Including if, no ESPECIALLY if, it is the government and law enforcement is infringing on them. And a panicked cop shooting 7 times into a car with a cooperative legal gunowner and his wife and child is absolutely something the NRA should be speaking about. That is the purpose of the NRA, or at least that WAS the purpose of the NRA. Wayne Lapierre has spent the last 25 years turning it into a right wing political group and that is why despite agreeing with what they claim to be, i cannot support what they actually are.

  • ThomasD||

    Because all those left wing pro-gun groups sure offer a better alternative...

  • KevinP||

    To those complaining about the NRA, I have been a member for 23 years and can observe:

    1. The NRA typically does not comment on encounters with law enforcement. This applies to white people also: there are plenty of armed white citizens who became involved with law enforcement, sometimes with fatal consequences and the NRA did not comment on their cases. There are many good reasons not to comment.

    2. The NRA does its best work in the background, and for everyone. I am a brown skinned immigrant, naturalized citizen and member of the NRA and the gun culture. Thanks to the NRA and its efforts over the years, I have been able to buy, keep and carry guns for protection as a matter of right in the states of Arizona, Utah and Texas. Unfortunately, when I lived in New York State, where the influence of the NRA is limited, as a brown skinned man, I could not get a license to carry a gun, because I did not have "any need to do so".

    When the NRA and the gun lobby works hard to guarantee gun rights to EVERYONE, the biggest beneficiaries are the marginalized - minorities, women and the poor, who regain their right to own and carry guns free of discriminating laws and legal practices. Minorities, women and the poor can now protect themselves with guns in their homes in the San Francisco housing projects. They can compulsorily obtain licenses to carry concealed handguns regardless of the favor and discretion of the sheriff in 42 states of the Union - thanks to the gun lobby.

  • ThomasD||

    All of which points out that Sullum's headline about the NRA "shunning" this incident is hyperbolic propaganda.

    If Sullum had included any sort of prior similar events, where the NRA did offer greater commentary, he might have a leg to stand on. But he does not. And absent such a contrast his assertion has no substance, and is at best a mischaracterization of existing practice.

    The concern trolling might be more effective if it wasn't so terribly obvious.

  • Qsl||

    "When the NRA and the gun lobby works hard to guarantee gun rights to EVERYONE, the biggest beneficiaries are the marginalized - minorities"

    You should really look up the history of the NRA then. The NRA has a long storied history of denying minorities self-protection through supporting selective gun control laws, and a failure to speak up in situations such as this.

  • ThomasD||

    Can you name a pro 2nd amendment group with a better track record?

  • Qsl||

    Can you name the successes the NRA has had?

    Because I can point to comments by LaPierre to restrict firearms to the "mentally ill", even though they account for a minuscule amount of crime. It is essentially California's back-ground check. and apparently the NRA wants to make it national.

    https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=m5ukrWC0lns

    I'm also not enthused with them blaming video games for mass shootings. Should I really kiss away my 1st Amendment rights for my 2nd?

  • AZ Gunowner||

    Well, though I'm a Life Member for 45 yrs now (60 y/o) and I'm not the biggest fan of the NRA, it is likely that the Congress would have severely, if not entirely, eliminated legal gun ownership back in the 80s-90s.

    the "Assault weapons ban" was sun-setted in 10 yrs because of the NRA.

    More recently the Dem Senate wouldn't take up gun control after Sandy Hook, because of gun-owners, yes, but also because the NRA is a formidable voice for 4M of them.

    Is the NRA perfect, no. But the gun culture might have gone the way of England 2 decades ago if not for them.

  • EscherEnigma||

    Pink Pistols.

  • FreeRoy||

    I won't absolutely swear to any past actions, but the Virginia Citizens Defense League does pretty well in our state legislature, and in court when needed.

  • Devastator||

    When, in the 60s? 60s don't count no more bro' .

  • Qsl||

    When laws the NRA authored back then are still in effect, and there has only been mild attempts to rectify the situation, then yes they still count.

    Or do you really think paying a tax for a "dangerous" weapon really sprang out of thin air?

  • Anthimos112||

    I just want to comment to your statement that they have many reasons for not commenting when the police are involved. I would say they have any excuses one true reason...Wayne Lapierre and the executive committee of the NRA value their relationship with conservative politicians and law enforcement organizations more than they value their job to protect individual gun owners and gun owners rights as a whole. They are not a law-enforcement advocacy group. They are not a law enforcement lobbyist organization. They are a Second amendment defence organization. That right there should be there priority. And sadly often times it is not.

  • AlmightyJB||

    Lesson One: if you feel like you need to carry, then carry. Don't ask permission.
    Lesson Two: never volunteer information to a cop.

  • AlmightyJB||

    Also learn to draw from a seated position and if the cop draws, do not hesitate. Take him down. Better to be alive.

  • AZ Gunowner||

    I think you are going to lose that battle in the end.

    I support the sentiment but you'd be signing your own death warrant if you go down that road (at a minimum lifetime incarceration).

    No, the only practical advice is to avoid encounters if at all possible and if not to be very circumspect then (IE don't make an "mistakes").

    Not that I haven't had (well at least 1) good encounter with a cop, but the trouble is you don't which ones will treat you like a citizen.

  • Anthimos112||

    I agree with you that The situation and should be avoided at all cost. However that being said when push comes to shove if I have an option to draw on the guy Drawing on me I don't care Uniform you are wearing I'll take my chances with living through that and dealing with the consequences rather than being slaughtered defenselessly in my seat.

  • AZ Gunowner||

    If you're lucky enough to still be alive when you realize that you've got a Castile situation going draw of course, at that point you have nothing left to lose.

    But you're not going to be alive by that time. Just like Castile.

  • ace_m82||

    So you'd rather be carried by 6 rather than tried by 12?

  • AZ Gunowner||

    Again, you aren't going to get the draw on the cop.

    By the time you realize you've got a Castile situation going it is too late for you.

    Unless you're going to tell me you're going to pre-emptively draw the very next time you have an interaction with a cop?

    get real.

  • AlmightyJB||

    "you aren't going to get the draw on the cop."

    I don't think that's necessarily true

  • AZ Gunowner||

    Obviously, nothing is certain in any situation, but it is highly unlikely that even YOU would have been able to draw your weapon and defend yourself from Yanez in the same situation Castile was in.

  • Cynical Asshole||

    What's the deal with all the cop fellators with screen names I've never seen before showing up in this thread? I hope to God these motherfuckers don't stay and shit all over other threads.

  • JuanQPublic||

    This whole situation is unfortunate, not only for Castile and his family, but also because we have an AG who wants officers who are victims to be treated as a more important victim than other people.

    It's why I oppose "hate crime" sentencing too. These are all arbitrary applications of criminal law that have no place in the Constitutional system that seeks to be principled and fair.

  • AZ Gunowner||

    Sadly, because the jury lowered the threshold of self-defense for cops to "I feel threatened" and found this cop not guilty the "law enforcement community" is not going to learn anything or change anything about how they behave.

    Did Castile make some mistakes. YES! the biggest one was telling the cops he had a gun.

    But, this was a murder of some degree. Because the cop was even more stupid.

    that said the NRA, which I've been a life member of for 45 years doesn't have much room to maneuver here.

    After all the jury said the cop was not guilty.

    Is the NRA really expected to criticize the cop after the jury said not guilty?

    the "law enforcement" community is a big constituency of the NRA (rightly or wrongly) so I don't see them touching this after the decision by the jury.

    Maybe if the jury had convicted.

    That said I'm not a big fan of the NRA despite being a life member for a variety of reasons

  • EscherEnigma||

    What do you mean "for cops"?

    Reducing the threshold to "I feel threatened" is pretty much the entire point of "Stand Your Ground" laws.

    Is the NRA really expected to criticize the cop after the jury said not guilty?
    Yes. Advocacy groups speak out about miscarriages of justice all the time. That's kind of the point of being an advocacy group.

  • AZ Gunowner||

    the jury - by its actions - said cops don't have to shoot only in self-defense.

    it is almost a dead-bang certainty that they would not acquit someone on trial for murder who said 'I THOUGHT he was reaching for a gun".

    Sadly, this jury and several others seem to think that the threshold for self-defense for cops is lower than that for the rest of us.

  • Mark22||

    Did Castile make some mistakes. YES! the biggest one was telling the cops he had a gun.

    No, it was telling the cops he had a gun while reaching for something.

    But, this was a murder of some degree. Because the cop was even more stupid.

    Cops are stupid, aggressive, and power-hungry. Who else would take that kind of job in the first place?

  • AZ Gunowner||

    the people that deserve the real contempt is the stupid f-ing jury who have just said that a cop can shoot you "if he feels threatened".

    because evidently the cops shiny badges make them able to read minds.

    the rest of us mundanes don't have that privilege.

  • Mark22||

    I think a lot of jurisdictions could fix this simply by voting for unarmed patrolling. But it's up to the community: use of weapons and deadly force isn't determined by immutable laws of God or federal regulations, it is determined by local elections.

    So, instead of this whining and complaining, have you become active in your community to change the laws? Why not start an effort for, say, unarmed patrolling?

  • AZ Gunowner||

    I have advocated for disarming the police.

    but i'm not going to waste time writing to my city council about it cause it is NEVER going to happen.

  • Mataratones||

    What I don't understand is how it could be justified to fire 7 shots. I mean, any shots are questionable, and maybe he should have been convicted even if he fired one, but why in the world would he have felt it necessary to fire 7 shots? The guy was basically trapped inside the car; the officer could easily have retreated to his car at any point. You would think taking a bullet or two would be enough to discourage most people from attacking, if they were ever considering it (that's what I've been told in self-defense classes).

    Do police departments have a policy to empty a clip into a suspect?

  • Josh The Radio Dude||

    The NRA long ago abandoned their principles. That was obvious when they endorsed Donald Trump. Now it's even more obvious. They have no high ground at all anymore.

  • TommyInIdaho||

    This article is just part of a media "journolist" game plan, Google "nra statement on philando castile" and see...in fact, just type in NRA and see how quickly you're prompted on Castile.

  • FreeRoy||

    I just did that. I got a YUUGE number of hits to the effect of "No NRA statement . . .", as well as ONE about the statement they made last year, after he was shot.

  • DJK||

    A bit off-topic, but I haven't seen it addressed anywhere. Was the stop even legal? The officer worked for Saint Anthony, in Hennepin County. Castile was pulled over in Falcon Heights, in Ramsey County. My understanding of MN law (I lived there for 20 years) is that an officer can only pull you over within their jurisdiction unless 1) they pursued you out of their jurisdiction after you committed a crime there or 2) they were already conducting business related to their job (going to a trial proceeding, etc.) in the city outside their jurisdiction when they pulled you over. I think we can rule out 1. Do we have any reason to believe that the officer was doing 2? If not, isn't this an illegal stop?

  • LynchPin1477||

    Apparently the cop said he thought Castile might have been a robbery suspect because he matched the description of black, dreadlocks, glasses, and wide nose.

  • DJK||

    https://www.revisor.mn.gov/statutes/?id=629.40
    I'm not sure I see anything there that would give arresting authority....

    http://www.arechigo-stokka.com.....isdiction/

  • DJK||

    Here's the answer. Legal stop, I guess. Weird.

    Phil Castile was pulled over by officers of the St. Anthony Police Department, a force that is shared by the communities of St. Anthony (pop. 9,000), Falcon Heights (pop. 5,600), and Lauderdale (pop. 2,500). It's a somewhat strange jurisdiction, since it isn't a contiguous area. Lauderdale and Falcon Heights are both located along Larpenteur Avenue and are adjacent to each other, but St. Anthony doesn't touch either of them. Police from St. Anthony, to the northwest of the other two cities, need to travel through Minneapolis or the neighboring suburb of Roseville to get to Lauderdale and Falcon Heights, though it's a fairly short distance.

  • Ron||

    after this incidence happened there was shown side by side pictures of the robbery suspects male and female and they did look like the people in this car

  • AZ Gunowner||

    But if he really thought he was pulling over robbery suspects he was still pretty casual about.

    Methinks he really didn't and that was a cover story to explain a pretty much BS stop in first place.

  • ||

    IIRC, on the tape he comments that the people resemble the robbery suspects before he approaches the car. That part is legit.

  • Whorton||

    You have to ask,

    How more clear cut could the event have been?

    -The man was legally carrying a firearm and had his permit as required
    -The man informed the police officer at the soonest opportunity that he was carrying a firearm.
    -The man had NO criminal history
    -Two generalized points of physical data (he was black, had dreadlocks and a "Broad nose.") on a 4 day old robbery is shabby at best.

    Either way, the man was acting lawfully. The officer murdered the man. Plain and simple
    AND
    The jury totally failed this man.

  • ||

    after this incidence happened there was shown side by side pictures of the robbery suspects male and female and they did look like the people in this car

    The robbery suspects were both (barring genetic analysis) male. Castile resembled one of them, but the resemblance is rather superficial black, dreadlocks, facial hair, and a baseball cap.

    Also, the officer makes several exceedingly poor decisions had Castile turned out to be the armed robber.

  • Zeb||

    How many people could there possibly be who meet that description?

    And his nose isn't even really wide for a black guy.

  • NYer||

    "black, dreadlocks, glasses, and wide nose."

    That's literally one word off from being a Dave Chappelle joke.

  • Diane Reynolds (Paul.)||

    This is especially sad because there's no 'duty to inform' law in Minnesota by my research.

    If there had been a duty to inform, one could put some blame on that law in escalating the situation. So unfortunately, Castile suffered from the delusion that he'd receive fair treatment from an officer by being forthright and honest.

    Man this blows. How much coverage did this get in the national media? Because there was just recently a shooting here and it's been getting front page, above the fold coverage for days, and again, it's another one of those 'on the edge' cases, unlike this one.

  • Ron||

    just re watched the female passengers tape. Note they had pot in the car which makes it illegal to cary a concealed weapon or any weapon for that matter so the driver was carrying illegally the pot made his license invalid. No wonder the NRA is silent on the subject. when this shooting occurred there were many online analysis of the video showing his hand close to what may have been the gun. case closed the whole incidence was fucked but does not automatically make the cop guilty thus the juries decision.

  • AZ Gunowner||

    No, the cop was guilty, but the stupid jury doesn't understand (and I don't know why the prosecution couldn't/wouldn't drive home) the concept of self-defense.

    And that obviously the cop didn't shoot in self-defense. He clearly was not under a credible threat.

    But the jury should know that - but of course no one is taught civics anymore.

    But yes, the situation was f'd because (at least in part) Castile wasn't the perfect victim.

    So the f-ing "law and order types" bent over backwards to smear him and blame him for getting shot because he didn't jump high enough when the cop said "frog".

  • Disgusted||

    So, Castile would have been considered to be carrying a handgun illegally. But alone, that's not enough to justify deadly force.

    The Facebook video shows a black object in Castile's lap. But, according to the sworn testimony of the paramedics, the handgun was still in his pocket when they removed him from the car.

    One of the paramedics testified that he saw an officer reach "deep into" Castile's pocket to retrieve the gun. But another says it simply fell out of Castile's pocket when the rolled him onto a backboard. I'm not sure how to reconcile the difference between the two accounts.

  • Ron||

    so the gun was handy? thats all it takes

  • XM||

    The problem for the NRA is that the officer was acquitted. To strongly condemn this shooting now might make them appear anti-cop. And there's always a chance that a jurors might share previously unknown details in an interview.

    Given their initial statement, the leadership level at NRA knows that this was problematic. But these organizations are political entities. They're not much different from the ACLU or BLM in that regard.

    I suspected they'll release a carefully worded statement soon, especially since many reputable conservative writers and pundits highlighted second amendment implications of this case.

  • RedPaint||

    This article was posted on 6/21/2017. Colion Noir posted a lengthy opinion on this case on 6/20/2017 @ 1:17 PM. I understand Colion may not represent the whole of the NRA but this article is a little disingenuous if it is not mentioned that some statement by a person who is a representative of the NRA has been made.

    https://www.facebook.com/COLIONNOIR

  • LynchPin1477||

    One more comment - for all those saying that Castile should have done this or that to reduce his risk - I get what you're saying, and that is all good advice for out there in the real world. But it's a pretty messed up real world when peaceful, law abiding citizens have essentially zero room for error when interacting with cops if they want to avoid a potentially lethal outcome. Maybe if Castile acted differently he'd be alive, but that's not an indictment of him, it's an indictment of this cop.

  • rojimowi||

    A tragedy yes. A life lost, many more ruined. Was justice served? Difficult to tell. Many have opinions about what happened. Most are hearsay, or taking someone else's word for it. A split second heat of the moment action/reaction.
    Easy to point fingers, but no one actually witnessed the event.

    rojimowi

  • LynchPin1477||

    There is dashcam footage and his girlfriend was in the car. It was only a split second decision because the cop spent all of 7 seconds deciding to put 7 bullets into the guy.

  • Mark22||

    There is dashcam footage and his girlfriend was in the car.

    So what's your explanation for a jury of twelve looking at all that evidence and not convicting?

    As far as I can tell, Castile reached for something while saying "I have a gun"; that is dangerous and not the way you should do it. I suspect that's why the jury chose not to convict.

  • Whorton||

    The reason the NRA didn't have, "more to say about an innocent man who was killed for exercising his Second Amendment rights." was that the issue was not so much Second Amendment related, as it was an illegal use of force by a police officer. The man, Philando Castile did exactly exactly what he was supposed to do, and was murdered by an overzealous cop.

    The issue of the prosecution of the officer is not something the NRA would generally comment on.

  • ranrod||

    The NRA has been selling out the American gun owner for over 100 years. They actively supported the NFA in 1934, the Gun Control Act in 1968 and the oppositely named Firearm Owners' Protection Act of 1986 (FOPA) which removed the right of Americans to purchase new automatic or AOW weapons, a clear violation of the Second Amendment.

    All of this was done with the cooperation of the sellout Progressive owned and run Republican Party as well.

  • ranrod||

    Dear NRA.....
    Stop "negotiating" excuses to INFRINGE on OUR RIGHTS.

    If there must be background checks, let's try this idea...
    Are there any 'legislators' that are interested in a Constitutional Background Check?

    Since SHALL NOT BE INFRINGED means exactly that..

    Let's try a "Background Check" that DOES NOT INFRINGE on anybodies RIGHTS…
    A FULL, IN DEPTH background check for ALL Politicians, Bureaucrats, and ALL government employees, and set MINIMAL INTELLIGENCE, JOB SKILLS AND CHARACTER QUALITIES that must be met before they can run for office, be appointed or hired.

    That way, WE, THE PEOPLE, get a much better class of politicians and bureaucrats, as well as EMPLOYEES that can be trained to do the jobs they are being hired for.

    Any bets on how hard the political class will fight to prevent it?

    THAT would be a Background Check that nearly ALL AMERICAN CITIZENS will support and I don't much care if the illegals and their sycophants don't like the idea.

  • ranrod||

    All the Ways You Can Comply and Still Die During An Encounter with Police..
    How do you protect yourself from flying fists, choking hands, disabling electrified darts and killing bullets?
    How do you defend yourself against individuals who have been indoctrinated into believing that they are superior to you, that their word is law, and that they have the power to take your life?
    Sad, isn't it, how quickly we have gone from a nation of laws—where the least among us had just as much right to be treated with dignity and respect as the next person (in principle, at least)—to a nation of law enforcers (revenue collectors with weapons) who treat us all like suspects and criminals?

  • ranrod||

    https://www.rutherford.org/publications_resources/ john_whiteheads_commentary/
    all_the_ways_you_can_comply_and_still_die_ during_an_encounter_with_police

  • David Macko||

    Support your local police only if they support the Constitution and are not so cowardly and/or incompetent that they shoot innocent people. It is acts like this which benefit terrorist groups such as George Soros' Black Lives Matter.

  • marshaul||

    The only thing I'd like to add to this discussion is to clear up some a particular bit of FUD which keeps cropping up in this discussion.

    Most states do not have a "requirement to notify" law on the books, CC or OC. This issue is confused by law enfarcement apologist gun rags (and websites, e.g. concealednation.com) who conflate the absence of a prohibition on police asking this question with a "duty to notify, if asked". Unless your state has a specific statutory requirement to inform police, your right to remain silent remains in force (the few states which do have this requirement circumvent the 5th amendment on the basis that permit holders are not actually self-incriminating by revealing their armed status).

    Also, if you live in one of the few states with an actual, statutory requirement to notify, it behooves you to realize that this is not the norm, and it is not to be expected to exercise a constitutionally guaranteed right. Moreover, these laws do nothing to enhance officer safety, and are regularly responsible for the shooting deaths by cops of innocent gun owners. This has happened before, and it will happen again. As such, it is your duty as a citizen (far more than it could ever be to volunteer information to law enfarcement) to write your legislators and seek to have any requirement to notify laws repealed outright. They are a menace, they are not the norm, they are archaic and backwards and they are not to be tolerated.

  • marshaul||

    For example, I live in Virginia, which has no duty to notify, and in fact my preference (and legal right) is to refuse to answer any questions of any sort, beyond the statutory requirement to self-identify. But this does not stop gun rags from claiming Virginia has a "duty to notify, if asked". It is typically a crime to lie to police, but in most states it remains legal to remain silent.

  • cravinbob||

    You can lie to police but if you lie about crime and then are later found guilty of that crime then the crime of lying will be included in the sentencing as extra punishment. Ask Martha Stewart.

  • freedomlover||

    A fear of weapons is a sign of retarded sexual and emotional maturity.

  • cravinbob||

    What in the hell does the NRA have to do with any of this? For one I have grown tired of media and politicos demonizing the NRA who of course are not involved in the horror story of American law enforcement behaviors.
    I had thought Reason.com to have reason but lo... just another web site looking to make a buck. The shriveling of the cajones when faced with the possibility of demanding justice for a citizen due to the fear of police THAT NOBODY except a criminal should have. You are afraid of badges and guns so write about that and demand the disarmament of police. Allow citizens to move about freely and independently. Abuse of power and roadside executions should never even occur but blaming the NRA for being silent?! Hello American finger pointers, YOU speak up or shut this web site down. You are not journalists and I question if you are even Americans. The cop committed a murder so report that. He will walk away. The citizen was not given that chance. You are ignorant spineless bastards for not seeing that.

  • jdgalt1||

    The NRA has always been this way. Too many of their members are cops who let their weapons do their thinking.

  • jimolivi@icloud.com||

    For what it's worth, I just went to a concealed carry class (CCW or Concealed Carry Weapons permit) in Arizona. The instructor is trained in firearms safety and is a lawyer. He advised us, if we are stopped for a minor traffic issue, to keep our hands visible and to follow the officer's instructions. We should not tell the officer that we have a CCW permit unless we are asked and not to tell the officer if we have a weapon unless we are asked.

    Having said all that, I have no idea who is at fault in the situation reported in this article. It's very tragic that one man lost his life, the officer has to live with this for the rest of his life, the girlfriend will have to live with this sadness and the little girl in the back seat, well there are no words.

  • EscherEnigma||

    I'm gonna hedge that the "is at fault" is the person who drew a deadly weapon and fired it.

  • Mark22||

    I'm gonna hedge that the "is at fault" beyond a reasonable doubt is the person who was found guilty by a jury of twelve men and women looking at the evidence for a few days.

  • Hank Phillips||

    With a courtroom stuffed with the cop's buddies taking down the jurors' addresses and glowering at them every hour of those few days?

  • Longtobefree||

    What we really need is a law requiring car manufacturers to make tail lights that do not ever "go out" or get "broken".
    Without the fraud of equipment failure to initiate the stop, many people will live to see another sunrise.

    How about photo enforcement of taillight issues? Just have a clerk process the videos at the end of shift, and mail out the ticket?

  • Ishmael||

    The law in Minnesota is that you do not have to tell the police you have a firearm. It is also illegal- illegal!! - for any cop to ask.

    This is another homicide in this State- that I have lived in for 4 years- by a cop on someone who is innocent because the cop is hysterical & scared!

    The same folls - like the Public Servant Union cops & DA's that defend these deaths by Public Servants being too scared to not kill an innocent mind you - are the ones trying to claim the Public they are supposed to serve should be seen as having 'mental health issues ' if they don't submit & subordinate to the Democrat Farmers & Laborers [unite?] Ideology?!

    For all these DFL cops, lawyers and beaurocrats practicing Medicine without a license, I say:

    Wannabe Physicians Heal Thyself & get treatment for your DEADLY mental issues, because you're batcrap crazy!

  • wjamyers||

    Show me example of NRA raising stink about ANYONE else being shot by cop. If you can't, you are making illogical and/or dishonest attack.

  • johnforsman||

    In Minnesota, one who has a conceal carry permit cannot carry when intoxicated. Castile did have marijuana in his system. If he had left his gun at home, this would not have happened. I am not excusing the Police actions. A person with a conceal carry permit is not allowed to purchase alcoholic beverages in a bar or restaurant if carrying.

  • Leslie the Bard||

    Patience! The NRA is also well known for building very solid cases before they take legal action.

    Also, Castile made a severe tactical error; he should have presented his license, registration, proof of insurance AND his CWP card first (preferably all together in a large clear-sided wallet -- separate from his cash wallet), then IMMEDIATELY put both hands on the steering wheel and KEPT THEM THERE, and waited for the cop to ask him if he had a firearm on him. Once a cop knows (or even suspects) that you have a weapon, you KEEP YOUR HANDS IN PLAIN SIGHT -- on the wheel, on the roof, out the window, wherever -- and you don't move them, even if the cop orders you to (claim: "I can't do that; according to case-law precedent, it would be illegal"). And anyone else in the car had better do the same. Remember, the cameras are rolling, and whatever they see is what the court will base its decision on. If the cop wants to grab your gun, he'll have to paw for it himself -- and that won't look good to a jury. Most cops won't bother.

  • BrianKerk||

    He wasn't given the chance to present those things, though. He was killed while getting his license out.

  • Mark22||

    He wasn't given the chance to present those things, though. He was killed while getting his license out.

    Good that you recognize that. Saying "I have a gun" while reaching for something is basically suicide by cop, even if the cop had ordered you to get out your license. He didn't know, after all, that you were carrying. I suspect that's why the officer went free.

    What you should do is keep your hands on the steering wheel and say "I have a concealed carry permit and I currently have one on my body. What would you like me to do [given this additional information]? [Would you still like me to reach for my driver's license?]"

    You might also simply do what many others do, which is to keep your license and registration in plain sight while driving. That way, you don't have to fumble or reach for anything.

  • Matt Black||

    I'm disappointed to see such a poorly researched and written article at Reason. From the first sentence Sullum is wrong, Castile did *not* do what "you" (concealed carriers) are supposed to do. Specifically, not following "Tip #3" in Sullum's citation correctly. Much has been said about that in gun communities and in the discussion section of this article.

    What's really strange about this article though is that nowhere in it does Sullum mention that Castile was high and that weed was found in the car. That's bizarre, considering that Sullum's specialty is the subject of drugs, and considering it was an important point in the trial.

    That fact alone means that Castile's possession of a firearm was illegal in at least a couple of ways. That fact alone means the NRA cannot defend him. Just imagine how the anti-gun lobbies would spin that one...

    "First the NRA says the mentally ill should carry guns, now it says illegal drug users should carry guns! STOP THE INSANITY! STOP THE NRA!"

  • Hank Phillips||

    Translation: Sullum should frame his argument in terms of what Kristallnacht socialists are predicted to spew in reply, individual rights be damned! This is looking like half the NRA's legal staff suddenly subscribed to get in here and try their hands at spin control. Good luck with that... but I'm hoping a Negro Rifle Association every bit as organized as the JDL comes of this cowardly blunder.

  • maddarter||

    If you think the NRA is a civil rights group, you may be confused. Liberals are not confused because they view the NRA as devoted to gun selling. Since hunting is in a long, slow decline, sales need to come from the self-defense market. This is why LaPierre talks about crime as if we lived in a Mad Max world, and not the lowest crime rate since the 1960s (e.g., the murder rate in 2013-2014 was lower than any rate since 1960). The best market is white people, and many white people are afraid of black people. The NRA has generally been very supportive of police -- they learned a hard lesson in the early 90s with the jack-booted thugs comment. So now they stay mute on black men shot by police, whether Castile, or the case in Ohio where a man was shot in a Walmart, holding a gun sold by Walmart, while in an open-carry state. Or the 12 year old holding a gun in an open carry state.

  • Mark22||

    If you think the NRA is a civil rights group, you may be confused.

    The NRA is not a "civil rights group", it's a civil liberties group. And the NRA is overwhelmingly supported by individual memberships and small donations, not by gun manufacturers.

    How much do you people get paid by Soros-associated groups to spread your bullshit?

  • BrianKerk||

    Please. The NRA doesn't represent gun owners. the NRA represents gun MANUFACTURERS. They will always do what is best for business, what will sell more guns and ammo. And the fact is, fear sells guns better than anything. Racism, which is essentially fear, sells guns. They WANT there to be riots in the streets over this, because that scares white America and when White America is scared they buy more guns. They want White America to feel that "okay, maybe this was justified because the officer was scared" because that reinforces the notion that Black Men are inherently "scary" and... scared people = more guns.

    I mean, they'll fight for a convicted crack dealer to be able to buy guns when they're released from prison (because a sale is a sale, and if the crack dealer can buy a gun that'll make it more likely the white family down the street will buy one too) BUT WLP will rail against letting that crack dealer get the right to vote again. They only support the "rights" that make the cash register ring.

  • Mark22||

    Please. The NRA doesn't represent gun owners. the NRA represents gun MANUFACTURERS.

    The NRA is overwhelmingly financed by individual memberships and small donations.

    They WANT there to be riots in the streets over this,

    Actually, that sounds more like the Democratic plan for the next election.

  • aajax||

    NRA doesn't want to alienate its membership by supporting black gun ownership. Distrust of blacks is a major selling point for guns.

  • Hank Phillips||

    Reason enough for blacks to vote libertarian instead of wasting a penny on NRA panhandlers. NRA might as well stand for No Rastafarians Allowed!

  • Mark22||

    since Castile is dead because he exercised his constitutional right to keep and bear arms.

    We don't know exactly why he is dead or why the officer went free.

    As far as I can tell, Castile said "I have a gun" while reaching for his pocket; I can see why that would be considered threatening.

    Here is the recommended way of dealing with that situation:

    Hands at 10 and 2. [...] The following phrase is commonly recommended "Officer, I want to let you know that I have a concealed carry permit in this state and am currently have one on my person. How would you like me to proceed?"

    When you carry a gun, you run the risk that others are going to misinterpret your intentions and act in what they think is self-defense. That seems like an unavoidable risk of carrying a gun.

    Again, I don't know whether the officer acted reasonably in this case, but absent other evidence, I trust the jury to have made the legally correct decision.

  • Hank Phillips||

    In Texas the legally correct decision, as the court screens and instructs the jurors, is the one that assumes every word the cop says is God's Own Prophesy come true. I have sat in court during jury screening and seen this spelled out in terms that admit of no second interpretation. Innocent after proven guilty is the union-approved procedural premise when the killer is a cop or sumptuary law agent.

  • FreeRoy||

    This was a crying shame!
    That the NRA has failed to speak out is an obvious failure on their part -- and just reinforces the beliefs of many leftists that it's inherently racist.
    It's worth noting that Philando apparently died because of not just one, but two mistaken beliefs on Yanez's part, both rooted in ignorance and error.
    W

  • FreeRoy||

    This was a crying shame!
    That the NRA has failed to speak out is an obvious failure on their part -- and just reinforces the beliefs of many leftists that it's inherently racist.
    It's worth noting that Philando apparently died because of not just one, but two mistaken beliefs on Yanez's part, both rooted in ignorance and error.
    W

  • FreeRoy||

    (Sorry -- glitches here!)
    This was a crying shame!
    That the NRA has failed to speak out is an obvious failure on their part -- and just reinforces the beliefs of many leftists that it's inherently racist.
    It's worth noting that Philando apparently died because of not just one, but two mistaken beliefs on Yanez's part, both rooted in ignorance and error.
    We know that people -- not just police -- tend to see black males as more dangerous and threatening than otherwise identical males with white skin. That contributed to Yanez's fear.
    Added to that, since the trial Yanez has claimed that he smelled marijuana smoke in the car, and that that made him fear for his life.
    In other words, Philando died because Yanez was so terrified, because of two stupid beliefs, that his innocent actions were interpreted as attacks. A waste, and a pity.

  • Hank Phillips||

    Got it. Yanez was not a cowardly murdering bully at all. It was that pothead's fault for being the wrong color (and smelling funny). So... was FreeRoy the prosecutor in the case?

  • Topnife||

    The jury appears to have found for the officer based upon Castile's actual movements, not what he should have done. The officer was certainly very excited, even panicky, but he was judged by the jury to have sufficient concern for his safety, based upon his observation of the encounter, to warrant self defense, which is an implicit fact that the jury determined. He was fired by his department immediately after he was acquitted, which gives a sense of where his fellow cops were coming from, with respect to his mental processing. Being over-excitable, when the consequence is mortality, is not a tolerable characteristic of a successful policeman.
    Castile failed to follow the officer's instructions, and when the situation got tense, his response should have been to freeze and put his hands on the wheel, or the dash, then ask for instructions calmly. Confusion caused by pot may have been a (lethal) factor. Continuing to rummage in his pockets, when he had already informed the (panicky) officer that he was armed, was not a very wise response. Unfortunately, the occurrence of CCW has created a new challenge for both officers and CCW holders, when they encounter each other, and there is still no safe and universal answer to mutual behavior, except that the cop is generally right, and the civilian can wind up dead.

  • Hank Phillips||

    Sigh, so this was another victim of reefer madness then? So Castile was trying to save the soft-spoken man from the Killer Weed when his gun went off... um... how many times?

  • Amogin||

    The NRA is silent for the same reason that Mr. Castiile was shot. The color of his sikn excludes him from either the protection of the 2 Amendment or the support of the NRA.

  • rageon||

    Philando Castile died because a white cop decided to kill him. Neither the NRA nor the Second Amendment had anything to do with it.

  • Hank Phillips||

    Never trust a panhandling organization that relies on the continuance of the threat it pretends to counter. Every dollar donated to any part of the Libertarian Party facilitates the earning of spoiler votes. Every spoiler vote is worth at least six, and as many as 36 votes in terms of law-changing clout (based on 1892 and 1918 results). Their mean clout, then, is that of 21 looter votes. So I pass up the NRA and all other "nonpartisan" (meaning spineless and lacking in integrity) lobbying organizations and vote for and donate to those pressing forth with the entire gestalt platform that has represented me since way before I knew it existed. Every vote I cast scrapes down something like 21 votes cast by those who initiate the use of force to crush the rights of individuals. My schadenfreude goes out to the murderer--for his karma is sure to get him--and to the NRA, for finally letting their klan hood slip.

  • johncbsr1||

    Having been an officer at one time, I agree with the department. Yanez is unfit to both be an officer and armed. His reaction was completely inappropriate.

GET REASON MAGAZINE

Get Reason's print or digital edition before it’s posted online