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Americans were collectively traumatized when Philando Castile’s death was live-streamed on Facebook. The eerily calm pleas from Castile’s girlfriend Diamond Reynolds have haunted black americans as she recounted in real time, the compliant actions of her dying boyfriend. We learned from Diamond that Officer Jeronimo Yanez pulled the couple over for a broken tail-light. Castile informed the officer that he was a licensed and legally armed citizen yet when he followed the officer’s instructions and attempted to retrieve his license, he was shot 5 times at close range. The officer shot wildly, nearly striking Diamond and her daughter in the car. Despite video evidence that corroborated the frightening series of events, Officer Yanez was acquitted. Philando’s mother Valerie Castile declared “Damn, what is it going to take?” “The system continues to fail black people and it will continue to fail you all”. It would be possible to view her comments as the lamentations of a grieving mother but to many her declaration is the unavoidable conclusion drawn from a host of similar events throughout the country. Peaceful protests have begun in St. Paul Minnesota. Philando Castile was a fully employed cafeteria worker without a prior  history of violence.

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