Friday, July 8, 2016

America fractured: Police vs. blacks

Police shootings of African-Americans seems epidemic. Here is the latest reported by the NY Times.

Warning! The video linked below should be very disturbing for what it suggests (at least, if not evidences) about police conduct toward African-Americans. It could be very disturbing for its explicit documentation of a dying man in the aftermath of the shooting.

ST PAUL — The fatal shooting of a black man by a police officer during a traffic stop fit a longstanding pattern of disparate, unfair and even violent treatment of black people, Minnesota’s governor said Thursday, after millions of people watched the bloody, dying man in a grisly video recorded by his girlfriend and streamed live moments after the shooting.

The deadly encounter occurred Wednesday night in the city of Falcon Heights, just northwest of St. Paul. The graphic video from Minnesota showed Mr. Castile, who had been shot several times, slumping toward the woman who was recording the scene. As she did so, her 4-year-old daughter sat in the back seat and an officer stood just outside the driver’s side window, still aiming his gun at the mortally wounded man at point-blank range.

The video is all the more shocking for the calm, clear narration of the woman, Diamond Reynolds, who can be heard saying that Mr. Castile had done nothing wrong, and the fact that she was streaming it live on Facebook. On the video, Ms. Reynolds, who described herself as Mr. Castile’s girlfriend, gives her account of what happened, saying again and again that he was just reaching for his driver’s license and registration — as the officer had requested — when the officer opened fire.

“Please, Officer, don’t tell me that you just did this to him,” she said. “You shot four bullets into him, sir. He was just getting his license and registration, sir.”

Ms. Reynolds’s daughter appears several times in the video. Near the end of the 10-minute clip, as the two are sitting in the back of a police car and Ms. Reynolds becomes increasingly distraught, the girl comforts her mother. “It’s O.K., Mommy,” she says. “It’s O.K. I’m right here with you.”

Undoubtedly, there will be another side to this story reported in the coming days. Let's hope for clear footage from dash-cams or body-cams.

Here is the update from the Times. Five police officers killed, others wounded, by snipers at protest in Dallas.

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