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Philando Castile

Discussion in 'General Gun Discussions' started by CavalierLeif, Jun 23, 2017.

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  1. CavalierLeif

    CavalierLeif Member

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    In the wake of the officer's acquittal and release of dashcam footage - What's your opinion on the shooting of Philando Castile?

    All across social media, it seems the majority finds it wholly unjustified. Albeit, many of these individuals are (most likely) ignorant of proper behavior when carrying concealed and the necessity for additional caution, respect and slow movement when dealing with law enforcement in such a situation that the presence of a firearm may be revealed.

    Castile revealed that he had a firearm as he allegedly reached for his wallet while the officer instructed him not to. As a CCW-holder, this is a big no-no to me. Though I live in a state that doesn't require me to reveal to law enforcement that I am carrying a concealed firearm, if faced with a similar situation I plan to err on the side of caution and inform the officer if my ID/registration is anywhere near the location of my weapon.

    Thoughts?
     
    Last edited: Jun 23, 2017
  2. FL-NC

    FL-NC Member

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    My opinion aside, the FACT is that justice was served. I know this because it went through the legal system.
     
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  3. Hanzo581

    Hanzo581 Member

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    I wasn't there and there is no footage of what the officer was seeing right before he shot. In my opinion he assumed based on the timing that the guy was reaching for the gun since he started reaching after saying he had a gun and a license to carry. The cop panicked and made a mistake. But as FL-NC said, it went through the system and the result is what it is, I don't agree with it, but that's why we have a system in place that makes those decisions for us.
     
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  4. JR24

    JR24 Member

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    Since I wasn't in the jurors box, I will not judge on the right or wrong of the case. I prefer to avoid speculation when I don't have more facts than I have.

    I will say that the case did make me decide to carry my wallet in my left pocket now, opposite side of my body from my gun.

    That said I had one traffic stop when I was armed and I did inform the LEO I was armed, I handed her my CCW with my license.

    She just said "thanks for letting me know" and we moved on with the stop.

    FWIW it has come up on Live PD a number of times and the officers don't seem overly bothered if the gun is carried legally, regardless of race.
     
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  5. everydefense

    everydefense Member

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    Ah... the legal system is infallible. Well, that's good to know, at least.
     
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  6. edwardware

    edwardware Member

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    The officer's reaction does not seem consistent with a decision to shoot Castile because of what he said. Castile stated he had a gun, the officer calmly acknowledged the statement, and then followed with a increasingly panicked series of commands to, "don't pull it out!"

    That increasing panic is best explained by the officer seeing Castile doing something to cause the rising panic, and continuing to do it as the officer shouts louder and louder.

    It's possible, perhaps likely, that Castile was not being intentionally threatening, but intent hardly matters in the moment. It seems almost certain he was doing something that caused the officer to panic, and didn't stop doing it after being yelled at repeatedly.

    I can only conclude that you mean something very different than I when you say 'justice'. The justice system is often unjust, less often here than anywhere else I know of, but never perfect.
     
  7. edwardware

    edwardware Member

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    That's been my experience. The CWP is largely a 'good guy' card; it demonstrates that I'm not a criminal, and unlikely to be a threat.
     
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  8. coloradokevin

    coloradokevin Member

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    I hate to speculate on these things, because we just don't know what the officer was seeing at the time of the shooting. The officer obviously felt that Mr. Castile was reaching for a gun, and Mr. Castile isn't here to tell us otherwise. The officer started calm, and then grew increasingly alarmed as Mr. Castile apparently did something that caused him to be alarmed. His first reaction to the statement about the gun wasn't one of panic, but it quickly became one of panic. That alone makes me wonder if Mr. Castile was reaching for a gun. This case has gone through the criminal justice system, and a jury composed of everyday citizens decided that the officer wasn't guilty of a crime. Beyond that, much of what follows in my response here is speculation:

    I've been in law enforcement for many years now, and I always carry on/off duty. When I'm stopped on a traffic stop I tell the officer I'm armed, I keep my hands on the steering wheel, and I ask the officer how he/she would like me to proceed. If I'm in an "armed encounter" (i.e. we both have guns on us) with someone I don't know, who may see me as a potential threat to his/her life, I do everything feasible to keep the stress level low in the situation... that means not digging around for things in the car without first checking with the officer, and that means stopping what I'm doing if the officer asks me to stop what I'm doing. These are things that Mr. Castile apparently didn't do.

    With all of that said, and the obvious caveat that I wasn't there and we don't have angles to show us every corner of this encounter, I'll say that the officer seemed a little too high-strung, and a bit too "condition black" for my tastes. Maybe this was caused by Mr. Castile forcing his hand in a shooting, or maybe it was caused by the officer's own nervous personality. I don't know the guy, and I wasn't there, but it sure seemed to be a lot higher panic level than I usually see at incidents of this type. Sure, he was in a critical incident, and we all know that. But, he was so locked on target after the shooting that the covering officers practically had to drag him away from the car door, even something like 8-10 minutes after the fact. He wasn't cool, calm, and collected, and I don't know if that issue played into other parts of this shooting. I'd also be curious to hear the testimony from his cover officer... the guy who stood there with his hands in his vest during the entire contact, and then slinked off that way when shots started being fired. It was strange, on so many levels.

    Anyway, when we look at an officer's mindset we have to remember to look at the totality of the event. In this case the officer indicated to another officer that he was stopping this vehicle because the suspect matched the description of a robbery suspect. Some have called that a racist motivation, but the officer described specific physical attributes of this individual that led him to believe that this was the same guy (I think he referenced a wide-set nose, and something else). So, the officer may have believed he was encountering an armed robber, and when this person (who admitted to being armed) started reaching for a gun (or something else) the officer may have legitimately believed he was about to be shot.
     
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  9. coloradokevin

    coloradokevin Member

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    I always think it's a good idea to let an officer know you're armed, and it usually works out just fine for most people. When I stop armed citizens and they inform me that they're armed, the conversation is usually more relaxed, not more tense. Honestly, when someone calmly tells me that they're armed, I can reasonably assume that this person isn't about to try to ambush me with that gun (since they just gave away their element of surprise). My typical response to a citizen telling me they're armed is to say: "Thanks for letting me know, don't play with yours for a few minutes and I won't play with mine".
     
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  10. Jackal

    Jackal Member

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    In my state, unless an officer asks, you do not need to volunteer your carry status. I was pulled over for a muddy license plate once on my motorcycle. My handgun was in the same pocket as my I.D. (yes, I learned NOT to do that) Made for an interesting situation on the side of the road.:rofl: I followed his commands, asked him how he would like to proceed and no one got shot. Amazing how that works.;)
     
  11. browningguy

    browningguy Member

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    That's probably what the dead guy thought too.
     
  12. maxxhavoc

    maxxhavoc Member

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    What I think happened:
    Castile said he was a CWP, and in an attempt to comply with the officers instructions ASAP reached for his ID. Officer panicked and opened fire.

    If I was on the Jury, what was probably proven within a reasonable doubt:
    Nothing, not enough evidence. The cop was innocent until proven guilty, not Castile.

    So in my opinion, it was a huge injustice, that the jury ruled on exactly like they should have. It sucks. The cop didn't have a secret desire to shoot someone, regardless of skin tone, Castile did not have suicidal tendencies. Just two people that suffered together.

    I am in a duty to notify state. My hands stay on the steering wheel until the cop says he knows I am a CWP and knows the location of any firearms in the vehicle and tells me how to proceed. They don't move. This has happened twice, once I was carrying and got to get out of the car hands up until disarmed. The cop was civil the whole time, but more relaxed after he put the pistol on the hood. Once, I was unarmed (but still had duty to notify at the time...armed or not) and the cop was civil from the start.

    Just bear in mind...anytime you may have to actually exercise your CWP rights, you will be in the same court as the cop. And the jury will be twice as critical as they were with an officer. This is a learning experience for all of us. And a time to mourn the loss of someone who shares our passions.
     
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  13. Panzerschwein

    Panzerschwein member

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    We will never know what the officer saw. No body cam.

    I personally think body cams would help officers a lot. Then again, I'm no officer and don't pretend to be on on TV after staying at a Holiday Inn Express last night.
     
  14. FL-NC

    FL-NC Member

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    I never said our system is perfect, but its still better than lynch mobs, sharia law, etc. Its the one we have, and we all pretty much need to accept it. Only other option is to relocate to another country with one we like more.
     
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  15. hdwhit

    hdwhit Member

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    But what good will that do?

    Does the officer know you carry your wallet in your left pocket and your gun in your right?

    Why would you assume that he would make that assumption?
     
  16. hdwhit

    hdwhit Member

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    To make this statement, upon which your conclusion is based, you must ignore the contemporaneous statements made by Castile's girlfriend inside the car in the immediate aftermath of the shooting in which she affirmatively states that Castile was following the officer's instructions to retrieve his wallet.
     
  17. fastbolt

    fastbolt Member

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    I wasn't there to see and know what was visible to the officer at the moment of, and the moments leading up to, the shots being fired.

    Apparently, after being presented with all the evidence and witness statements, the jurors found the officer credible, his actions reasonable and lawful, and did not believe the prosecutor made a case proving the officer was guilty, beyond a reasonable doubt.

    Therefore, not guilty.

    Of course, everyone who wasn't there, let alone who doesn't understand the laws involved, will have an opinion. That's just human nature.
     
  18. BigBL87

    BigBL87 Member

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    My quick take:

    Officer panicked, and made a massive mistake.

    The jury, letter of the law, made the decision that fit the evidence available (There was reasonable doubt). The outcome was likely correct legally, but possibly not morally.

    Philandro probably could have reacted differently, as could the officer.

    All of that is just based off the evidence available. My heart says there probably should have been a conviction, my head says there was probably reasonable doubt simply based on the lack of evidence.
     
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  19. hdwhit

    hdwhit Member

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    Well, that's not a FACT.

    In no sense of the word can "justice" be served by convicting the innocent - and then allowing the conviction to stand even after it is demonstrated that the convicted person is innocent - yet the Supreme Court has said that "actual innocence" is not a barrier to a conviction.

    We have faith that the courts will err at a level society can tolerate, and in general they do and people continue to place their trust in the judiciary to get it right more often than not, but it would be fallacious to equate that with "justice".
     
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  20. hdwhit

    hdwhit Member

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    Yes, and where one of the two is a representative of and operating with the powder of the state, the burden to take the initiative in acting differently is with the representative of the state.
     
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  21. BigBL87

    BigBL87 Member

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    Agreed. As an officer of the court, I expect to be held to a higher standard than the inmates I look after. Same principle.
     
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  22. Steve85569

    Steve85569 Member

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    I have had limited exposure to Leo's while carrying. I alway have informed them that I have concealed carry permits - plural. I keep my hands in full view from the time the lights come on until I am instructed to produce insurance and a driver's license. I try to put myself in the officer's shoes. I was once with an officer that made a stop that could have ended ugly if there had not been two of us. In the dark the person stopped could not tell I was not an armed law enforcement officer. Completely changed my point of view though. They really do not know what I am up to or what the heck I just did.

    Doing those simple things there has never been any problem.
     
  23. Zach S

    Zach S Member

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    Yes, however, to make that statement, you have to ignore the dashcam footage of the officer repeatedly saying "don't pull it out."

    The carry permit wasn't mentioned before the shooting, only the gun. Yanez was wound up too tight, Castille kept reaching when told not to.

    Before the dash cam footage, I expected a manslaughter conviction. After the dash cam footage, the acquittal doesn't surprise me.

    It's a crap sandwich, no matter which end you take a bite of. I'm glad I wasn't on that jury.
     
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  24. Tommygunn

    Tommygunn Member

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    I believe Castile was reaching for his gun. The reaction of the officer as he more emphatically repeated his command not to reach for it seems convincing IMHO. Yes, a horrible tragedy, but the officer was justified.
    I understand I could be wrong.....others correctly posted here we cannot actually see what the deceased was doing, we can only infer it, as I admit I did, from what we can view and hear.

    Castile made a bad mistake. If he really wasn't reaching for his gun, what was he doing to make the officer believe he was, and why couldn't he have stopped and asked the officer how to proceed? I know I repeat earlier sentiments; he should have done this first, before he moved.
    The officer was obviously shocked badly by this. I feel bad for him, and also Castile's family.
     
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  25. harrygunner

    harrygunner Member

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    You asked.

    I downloaded and looked at the police camera footage. I stopped watching after hearing his girlfriend crying over his death. I had watched the Facebook footage streamed on the day of his death and knew what to expect.

    Yanez moved forward, into what would have been a better position for rounds coming toward him. I've seen many videos of officers moving toward the back of the car to get out of the line of fire.

    Wondering about the actions of Yanez's partner. Did his not coming to assistance have anything to do with his perception of the level of threat?

    My analogy for the ills coming from poverty is a low flying airplane. Rather than higher altitude with a clearer path, one always has to dodge trees, towers and buildings. Just when you get some momentum, another obstacle pops up and slows you down.

    After that shooting, I had a tail light fail. Turns out, a $2 bulb wasn't enough. Had to spend over $100 for a new light assembly. I'm blessed and the money was not an issue. But, for some, it could lead to constant interactions with police. Pay for the light leads to failing to pay for insurance. Failing all that leads to loss of driving privileges that leads to loss of job.

    I suspect Castile thought his CCW permit would mediate the situation and announced his carrying a gun.

    The "male black" has become a thing to be feared, likely to rain violence at every chance. To me, Yanez reacted to a preconceived notion, rather than what was going on.

    Put me down on the side that saw it as unjustified.
     
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