GOV. DAYTON: DON’T HONOR PHILANDO CASTILE

A racially mixed Ramsey County jury acquitted St. Anthony police officer Jeronimo Yanez in the shooting death of Philando Casatile last month. Officer Yanez had been charged with second degree manslaughter and reckless discharge of a firearm. John wrote about the case when the jury returned here. John observed that “Castile’s death was tragic, but there was one outrageous aspect of the case: Governor Mark Dayton’s instant reaction to the shooting.”

Following the verdict Governor Dayton has continued in the same vein. He now calls for a new $12 million police training fund to be named after Castile. The Star Tribune reportsthat local law enforcement is none too thrilled with Dayton’s proposal. One officer whom I know and trust asks us to post his comments without identifying him by name or department. I believe he speaks for many Minnesota law enforcement officers who feel compelled to mute their voice in the face of Dayton’s disparagement, both implicit and explicit. Their voice nevertheless deserves to be heard. He writes:

In a sane world the forced effort to make Philando Castile the poster child for out of control police officers would have ended when 12 citizens unanimously voted not guilty at the conclusion of the trial of Officer Jeronimo Yanez. However, we do not appear to be living in a sane world and the #narrative continues unabated.

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