The Second Death of Philando
[col. writ. 6/16/17] ©’17 Mumia Abu-Jamal
The video is riveting.
A woman is rapt with rage, her voice slow and controlled, as a cop points his gun at her, as her lover bleeds his life away beside her, and her baby daughter looks on in what can only be called wonder.
Philando Castile is dying as a discussion goes on, but it isn’t with him, it’s about him.
The cop’s gun quivers and quakes, pointed at this woman, as the cop’s voice also quivers and quakes, fear thick in every breath.
The cop, Jeronimo Yanez, has just killed Philando, and he attempts to explain why. “He was moving: he said, “He was reaching for a gun.”
Castile was reaching, his girlfriend, Diamond Reynolds said, for his wallet, which held his driver’s license and gun permit.
Why were they stopped? Yanez said a broken tail light.
Just hours ago, a jury relieved Yanez of his anxiety by finding him not guilty of manslaughter!
A jury believed Yanez’s tale that the Black man was a robbery suspect.
The jury believed, once again, that a Black life had no intrinsic value, and that it could be treated like trash, burned up and discarded, like an old pair of shoes.
Philando Castile’s name joins a list as long as life, sacrificed on the altar of white fear.