In a stunning display of both kindness and an eye-opening reminder of the state of American race relations, a body shop in Minneappolis, Minnesota has announced that they will now be offering to replace busted lights in vehicles at no charge, in order to try to prevent the death of another man like Philando Castile.
Castile was pulled over in by Minnesota police because they claimed his tail light was out. Police dispatch audio later revealed that Castile was pulled over based on racial profiling, though the busted tail-light enabled the officer to take the initial action. After telling the officer he had a concealed weapon which was registered and licensed, Castile was murdered by the police officer in front of his girlfriend and a young child.
On July 7, Unity Autoworks posted this message in response to Castile’s death, urging the community to come to the shop and get their lights replaced.
“Don’t let a light bulb be the reason you get pulled over.
A defective bulb should never be a reason to be murdered.”
The owner, who identified himself as a black male, said that his business was able to replace 72 lightbulbs in just one day – all for absolutely free.
“Being a black male myself, this was an issue that weighed heavy on my heart, an issue I felt Unity Autoworks could stand behind. Im proud to say we were able to replace 72 light bulbs in the community.”
The auto shop also announced that they would be holding a follow-up event the following weekend and would attempt to provide similar events once a month in order to prevent another killing like Castile’s.
It’s a sad day in America that this sort of preventative charity is even needed, but for Unity Autoworks to reach out to their community in this way, and on their own dime, is incredibly inspiring.