In Minnesota, police shot and killed a man during a traffic stop Wednesday evening, in the second fatal encounter between police and an African-American man to gain national attention this week.
32-year-old Philando Castile was shot by a police officer in suburban St. Paul. Castile's girlfriend, Diamond Reynolds, streamed video of the incident on Facebook Live immediately after the shooting, showing Castile bleeding from a wound to his chest area and the officer with his gun still visible through the window.
Reynolds had been riding in the car with Castile and her 4-year-old daughter. In the video, she said Castile was stopped for a broken tail light, had informed the officer that he had a gun in the car and was licensed to carry, and was reaching for his wallet at the officer's request. And yet he was still shot.
Details are still emerging, but in the video, Reynolds says the police officer is Asian.
I'm saying this because, we, our Asian American and Pacific Islander community, cannot stand by quietly and allow the practices of racial profiling, misconduct and excessive use of force by law enforcement to continue. Full stop. We need to stand together with communities of color in the fight to end systemic police brutality.
I'm also saying this because, yes, the officer who shot Philando Castile might indeed be Asian. But even if he isn't, we need to own this because we, too, are complicit. We need to take responsibility for the anti-blackness in our own communities, and acknowledge and address our privileged part in the systemic injustices faced by Black Americans. In this case and all the rest, because people are dying.
Yes, this shit is hard to talk about. But it is not someone else's problem.
UPDATE: The officer who shot Philando Castile has been identified as Jeronimo Yanez.