Now that the case against the police officer who murdered Philando Castile has been brought to an unsatisfying conclusion, alternative footage of the event not previously released has been made public.
One video conclusively documents the moment that Castile informed the officer about his legal concealed weapon during what should have been a routine traffic stop. Castile informed the officer that when he was reaching for his identification, he was not reaching for his weapon. Then, several seconds later, the officer opened fire on the man, killing him.
While that video is incredibly telling and frustrating, there is another video more heartbreaking. The video features Castile’s girlfriend Diamond Reynolds and her four-year-old daughter in the aftermath of the shooting.
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Reynolds and the child were held in a police cruiser for almost an hour after Castile’s shooting, Reynolds handcuffed. During that time, as Reynolds expressed her grief and fear, the young child attempted to comfort her mother.
“I can keep you safe, ok? … I wish I was with my dada.”
But more than comfort, the young child expressed fear for her mother’s life.
“Mama, please don’t scream ’cause I don’t want you to get shooted … I wish this town was safer.”
In the wake of the court’s decision that the officer who deployed his weapon, killing Castile, was not acting outside of his capacity as an officer of the law, this footage is even more heartbreaking.
Castile was following the law, so was his girlfriend, and so was their young child. And yet, simply because of the color of Castile’s skin, he was targeted by the police, and simply for attempting to follow the law, he was slayed.
Now, this child will face the trauma of this encounter with police for the rest of her life. Could you blame her for harboring ill will toward the men in blue?