Target: Minnesota Attorney General Lori Swanson
Goal: Prosecute officer who shot a man multiple times reportedly for reaching for his ID after warning the cop he was doing so.
Another black man has been shot and killed by a police officer, this time for reaching for his ID as instructed, according to reports. This man, Philandro Castile, was driving with his girlfriend and her daughter when he was pulled over during a routine traffic stop, allegedly for a broken tail light. According his girlfriend, the officer asked for his license, and Castile told the officer he was going to reach for his wallet in his back pocket and also informed him that he had a firearm on his possession, for which he had a permit.
For some reason, the office had his weapon drawn during this routine traffic stop. The officer reportedly gave the OK for Castile to reach for his ID, then told him not to move, and then shot him four to six times in the arm and chest. A horrifying video shows Castile covered in blood, keeling over from shock, and the officer still pointing his gun at the dying man while screaming expletives. Castile died in the hospital.
This incident comes not 24 hours after another black man, Alton Sterling, was shot multiple times in the chest by police officers who had him pinned to the ground. The continuing pattern of police officers killing black men for no good reason and getting away with it must end. The only way for that to begin to happen is to actually hold officers accountable for these unjust killings.
Minnesota Governor Mark Dayton says that he has already requested an independent investigation by the U.S. Department of Justice into this incident. That is a good start, but the state prosecutor also needs to ensure that the officer who killed Castile is brought up on serious charges. Sign our petition to demand that this killer cop be prosecuted for murder.
Dear Attorney General Swanson,
The recent and nonsensical killing of Philandro Castile by a Minnesota police officer is representative of what is wrong with this country’s racist police departments and a society where black men are labeled as a threat. This man could not have been more careful and communicative with the office and had done absolutely nothing wrong, yet somehow, he was still shot multiple times and killed.
It’s your responsibility to ensure that crimes like this don’t go unpunished. Police in this country have gotten away with outright murder too many times. We demand that you bring the officer who killed Castile up on murder charges so that the innocent man’s family–and the black community as a whole–can see some semblance of justice done.
[Your Name Here]
Photo credit: Gerry Lauzon