The tragic shooting and death of Philando Castile by a police officer last summer shocked the Twin Cities and millions of people across the country, and was yet another painful reminder that our nation’s criminal justice system remains profoundly unjust and must be reformed. The lives of people of color, and Black men in particular, remain at disproportionate risk from police violence.
This acquittal is unfortunately unsurprising given that law enforcement officers are almost never convicted in such situations, even in the face of substantial evidence indicating criminal wrongdoing. But that doesn’t make it easy, or right. Our hearts go out to the Castile family and all of Philando Castile’s loved ones.
This acquittal should serve as a call to action and challenge all of us to redouble our commitment to reform. As MoveOn members help fuel a broader Resistance Movement, we have a responsibility to do more than block a reactionary white nationalist agenda. It isn’t enough to stop things from getting worse; we must make them better. All of us must help confront and abolish the systemic racism that plagues our criminal justice system—and our nation’s past and present—and to stand for the principle that Black lives matter.