A Minnesota traffic stop turned deadly Wednesday evening as a police officer opened fire on a black driver.I don't know what happened in this incident. The cops say only that "shots were fired," but don't say that any of them came from the car.
The victim, 32-year-old Philando Castile, died at a Minneapolis hospital....
The bloody aftermath of the confrontation was broadcast live on Facebook by a female passenger in the car.
“He killed my boyfriend,” said the woman, whose Facebook page named her as Lavish Reynolds, as blood soaked through Castile’s shirt.
A key point:
In the video, Reynolds says Castile was legally licensed to carry a firearm and was reaching for his identification when the officer opened fire.Here's the video, which is disturbing.
“He let the officer know that he had a firearm and he was reaching for his wallet and the officer just shot him in his arm,” she says.
Panning to the blood-soaked Castile, Reynolds says she and Castile were "pulled over for a busted taillight," then says:
He's licensed, he's carried -- he's licensed to carry, he was trying to get out his ID and his wallet out, um, his pocket, and he let the officer know that he was -- he had a firearm, but he was reaching for his wallet, and the officer just shot him in his arm.This comes less than 24 hours after R. Lee Ermey, the actor and former Marine who's best known for playing the drill sergeant in Full Metal Jacket, appeared on Fox News to promote his new TV series, GunnyTime. He did so in language the gun community understands -- he claimed he'd been blackballed by Hollywood because he's a conservative, and he proselytized for gun ownership (emphasis added below):
If I’m a crook, if I’m a bad guy, where am I going to commit my crime? I’m going to see this sign that says gun-free zone, and I’m going to sure go in there and rob that store before I would this other one that says we don’t call 911...these thieves and robbers they go into a place because they want to rob you; they don’t go into a place because they want a gun fight. That’s crazy, right? I think everybody should be armed. Every normal, logical, levelheaded individual should be armed.But "every normal, logical, levelheaded individual" can't be armed in this country, because some "normal, logical, levelheaded individuals" are black, and if you're black in America and you're pulled over for a busted taillight, you can't even reach for your wallet if you're armed, because the police might well kill you. They'll kill you if you have a gun even if you can't reach it, which is what happened to Alton Sterling in Baton Rouge, who was shot as he was pinned to the ground and unable to reach for his firearm.
Reporters, please seek out Wayne LaPierre and other officers of the National Rifle Association. Seek out champions of gun control in Congress and in state governments. Seek out Ted Nugent. Ask them why they don't howl and shake their fists every time a gun owner who happens not to be white is shot for exercising what the always refers to as "America's first freedom." Ask them whether they're going to go to their friends in Congress and in state capitals to demand that this abuse of gun owners be stopped. Oh, and ask R. Lee Ermey, too.
They'll say that all the black men who are shot are criminals. Or they'll mutter and say nothing. So maybe it's pointless. But ask anyway.