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Sun Jun 18, 2017, 09:26 AM

Philando Castile and This Savage System - Joy-Ann Reid

My own experience on a grand jury showed me why so many young men of color are locked up—and why none of them are likely to ever share a jail cell with a disgraced cop.

06.17.17 2:42 PM ET

I wish I could say I was shocked at the Philando Castile verdict. But the truth is, it was entirely predictable. The criminal justice system in the United States is designed to do two things really well: to railroad black and brown bodies into prison, and to keep police officers out of it.

Officer Jeronimo Yanez, who pulled Castile’s girlfriend over in a St. Paul, Minnesota suburb last July and then shot Castile as his girlfriend livestreamed the encounter and the couple’s four-year-old daughter witnessed her dad bleeding out from the back seat, faced a top charge of manslaughter. One juror said after their decision to acquit that they had split 10 to 2 in favor of acquittal before bringing the recalcitrant around jurors.

I don’t know the specifics of how the deliberations went down other than what’s in the news reports, but having recently sat on a grand jury in Brooklyn, I can imagine. Probably some combination of peer pressure, legalistic arguments from the most determined jurors and a mix of hunger, frustration and fatigue wore down the two until they agreed to go along with the ten.

Meanwhile, does anyone doubt that had poor Mr. Castile lived, he would have been charged, tried and convicted of assaulting an officer for the “crime” of reaching for his wallet to comply with the officer’s command?

If my cynicism about the criminal justice system was baked in long before this verdict, particularly after covering numerous shootings collected under the Black Lives Matter banner, two weeks in the New York grand jury system this spring cratered my hope into the floor. Each day as one of 23 grand jurors empaneled to judge a flurry of about as many cases, I found myself continually careening between disgust and sadness.


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Reply Philando Castile and This Savage System - Joy-Ann Reid (Original post)
DonViejo Jun 2017 OP
Doug the Dem Jun 2017 #1

Response to DonViejo (Original post)

Mon Jun 19, 2017, 01:32 AM

1. KR for Visibility


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