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The murders of Philando Castile and Alton Sterling

Daily News cover. Alton Sterling

Philando Castile and Alton Sterling were murdered by thug cops who believe they are above the law. I defy anyone to view the videos and say otherwise. If things like happened very occasionally, they might be seen as aberrations. However, when they happen on a continuing basis then clearly there is an institutional problem with racism, ultra-violence, and a culture of silence in our police departments. This isn’t just a few bad apples. The entire orchard needs to be fumigated, diseased trees cut down, then burned.

How many cops are members of far-right white supremacist and Neo-Nazi groups? I’m guessing the percentage is far higher than in population at large. Will politicians speak out strongly against this slaughter? Hillary says “something is profoundly wrong.” Ok, that’s a good start, but needs to be much stronger. (Trump of course, is saying nothing about this, and continues to dementedly rant about the star.) Yes, there is indeed something profoundly wrong. Too many police departments are out-of-control and act as if they are beholden to no one. Entire departments need to be taken over by the feds, with complicit top brass and rank-and-file officers prosecuted for their crimes and sent to prison. I mean, look, the Oakland Police Department is just a fucking open sewer of corruption and slime. It can not be redeemed. It needs to be replaced. It is not the only one.

As for all the supposed good cops, where are they? It’s time for them to speak up, because by their silence, they are complicit.

The American Conservative on the death of Philando Castile.

To be clear, the only people who saw what Castile did in the seconds before the shooting are the cop, Lavish Reynolds, and perhaps her daughter. I want to be careful here and not judge the cop based only on partial information. But this is a horrible situation, and … what can you even say at this point, other than may God comfort those suffering people, keep the peace, and bring forth justice.

Question for the room: should we be grateful that technology brings us videos like this, because it tells us the true story with vivid immediacy? Or should we regret it because the imagery is extremely emotional, and obscures the search for truth?

Me, I’m grateful that we have this technology now, because police can’t get away with abusing their authority. But I’m writing this as someone who just watched this video, and who is in an emotional state, shocked and grieving for Castile.

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