I don’t know what to say about this. Philando Castile had been pulled over because he and his girlfriend “looked like” people who had been involved in a robbery. Nevertheless, for the first minute it’s an ordinary traffic stop, with both officers able to get a good look at Castile and his girlfriend. Then Castile tells one of the two officers that he has a gun in the car:
Castile, calmly: Sir, I have to tell you I do have a firearm on me.
Officer, calmly: Okay, don’t reach for it then.
Officer loosens gun and pulls it halfway out of its holster.
Castile, calmly: I’m, I, I was reaching for…
Officer, deliberately: Don’t pull it out.
Castile, calmly: I’m not pulling it out.
Girlfriend: He’s not…
Officer, panicky: Don’t pull it out!
Officer fires seven gunshots in two seconds.
Officer, panicky, nearly in tears: Don’t pull it out. Don’t move. Fuck, fuck, fuck. Don’t move. Don’t move.
I’m not a cop. I don’t know what it’s like to be a cop. But it’s hard to believe this had to happen. It’s dusk, so there’s enough light to see by. The other officer on the scene is calm the entire time, with his hands up around his chest. He doesn’t seem to think Castile presents any threat. And even if the first officer was being overly cautious, surely having his gun drawn and ready to fire was sufficient. Nothing in this scene makes it look like he had a good reason to fire when he did.