Joseph Kauser (left) and Jeronimo Yanez (right)
Minnesota police officer, Jeronimo Yanez, is set to be sued by the family of Philando Castile, the innocent man he racially profiled and murdered this past week during a deceitful traffic stop. The Castile family has retained the legal services of television attorney, Judge Glenda Hatchett. Yanez and his partner, Joseph Kauser, stopped Castile, using the lie he had a broken taillight. However, it was later discovered the police officers sent a message to the control center revealing they intended to stop Castile in traffic, as he has a "wide set nose" and could be the man who robbed a store. This was textbook racial profiling. You cannot ask for a more accurate example of racial profiling. It is also the offensive stereotype, "All black people look alike."
Yanez demanded Castile produce his license from his pocket. When Castile reached for his identification, the innocent motorist was shot five times by Yanez. One has to wonder if they were looking for an excuse to kill him. Castile had no felony criminal record (he has driving violations for not wearing a seat belt, speeding) and was gainfully employed in a school cafeteria feeding young kids. Castile followed police instructions, but was killed anyway.
Judge Glenda Hatchett (left) and Valerie Castile at a press conference yesterday announcing the forthcoming lawsuit
Whenever a black man is killed by police, select members of the press like to state the victim had a criminal record, as if this somehow excuses racial profiling and murder (it does not). Well, what's the excuse regarding killing Castile. If Castile was your brother, son or father, you would want justice to be done. Therefore, certain callous people need to stop acting like it's not a big deal. It is a big deal. An innocent man died a horrible death, due to racism and crappy police work.
Once again, as I have stated on this site in the past, as a police officer, why go directly up to someone you believe to be a criminal and engage them in conflict. If I were a police officer, I'd turn on the squad car siren/lights indicating the motorist in question should pull over, then use the loud horn (bullhorn) to state, "Get out of the car, lay down on the ground on your stomach with your hands stretched outward."
Philando Castile dying in his car after being shot by Jeronimo Yanez
It's the same story with Alton Sterling, the black man that was murdered by police in Baton Rouge, Louisiana last week, after a hasty, questionable confrontation. If they believed he was so dangerous, why charge up to him, tase him, tackle him to the ground in a forceful manner, kneel on his hands, then seconds later shoot him in the chest 6 times, while lying he had a gun in his hand. That was outright assault and murder. What kind of crappy police work is that.
It's the same story with Tamir Rice, the 12-year-old that was murdered by police in Ohio. Why drive right up to a child holding a toy gun and within 2-seconds open fire killing the 12-year-old. As stated in the column previously, why did they not maintain a safe distance (The Public Outraged At The Grand Jury Not Returning An Indictment In The Tamir Rice Murder and Blame The Victim?). This nonsensical behavior on the part of some, not all, police officers indicates a serious problem endangering the public.
It's poor police work on the part of some officers. There are police officers who question and even bring people in without incident. However, when you have select officers adding racism, racial profiling, anger and paranoia regarding black people to the mix, preventable tragedies will occur.