too close

i wrote those tweets, oh, probably 1-2 hours after philando got shot by a police officer on larpenteur avenue in falcon heights. i knew nothing about it at the time. i woke up the next morning and read the news. 

i’ve had a so-so response to previous shootings like this one, even mass shootings. except one other. this one, however, made my gut wrench. true, we don’t know all the details. true, we know that philando was conceal and carry and not sure what happened with that. but from what his girlfriend is saying, and his non-existent criminal record, and the letter from the st paul school district painting a future-looking picture of him, i have to think, what on earth have we come to. 

not only was this guy driving on a quiet street in a quiet suburb, but he was telling the officer that he was conceal and carry, a responsible thing to do. and he was shot. and his girlfriend had the foresight and fortitude to make a live facebook video. WHICH ROLLED WHILE SHE WAS HANDCUFFED (why was she handcuffed??). 

of course there are adversaries about this: he was a suspect for armed robbery of some newport cigarettes and was pulled over because the cop who shot him thought it could be him because of this “wideset nose” (see=he’s black). it could be that the cop told them they had a busted taillight just to have an excuse, because pictures have shown that the taillight was intact. whatever it is, of course the cop wasn’t wearing a bodycam, so we don’t know what happened. 

but what i know is this: i am in this area quite often. this happened right around the neighborhood one of my friends lives in. from what we currently know, the officer who shot him says he was reacting to the gun, not race. if this were a white guy with a gun, would he have been so quick to shoot?  i also know that if i were black and had a permit to carry, i would be crapping my pants right about now and not practice that right. 

this happened so close to home, and it was seemingly innocent. and for all those who’ve decried gov dayton for calling this racism, i would like to say that as many, if not more, are glad he is calling it what it is. 

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