July 7, 2016
I noted with mixed satisfaction today articles by two black writers:
Trey Ellis http://www.huffingtonpost.com/trey-ellis/the-police-hunting-and-mu_b_10859868.html
Roxane Gay http://www.nytimes.com/2016/07/07/opinion/alton-sterling-and-when-black-lives-stop-mattering.html?_r=0
The murders of Alton Sterling and Philando Castile were indeed tragic, avoidable, inexcusable, and outrageous. The killers are unfit for careers in law enforcement. I believe that only about 99%, because I don't know all of the facts of either killing. But it seems highly probable that neither killer had justifiable reason to fear harm to himself.
However, I don't agree with Rev. Al Sharpton that jail time is necessarily appropriate for either officer. It's tough being a policeman, especially when encountering an armed citizen who is not being compliant. It's obvious from the video that Sterling was not being compliant. Castile apparently was even less deserving of being killed, but in his case, it seems entirely possible that neither he nor the officer followed proper protocol.
When you're armed with a deadly weapon, as Castile was, it's imperative to make it clear to the officer that he is in no danger. Castile immediately admitted he had a gun, but then apparently he reached into a pocket to pull out a driver's license instead of asking the officer how he should proceed. And the officer should not have fired a gun into Castile's body until visibly seeing a gun (a fact I gleaned from hearing an interview on All Things Considered earlier today).
I have more to say but Barbara just came home. It's nearing 9 p.m., our bedtime. More later.