When police kill unarmed civilians, the path towards accountability begins with prosecutors. Elected to serve their communities as the chief law enforcement official, they have the means and mandate to confront the injustices that arise from systemic racism, writes the director of John Jay’s Institute for Innovation in Prosecution.
The Washington Post says reaction by both police and the community to the shooting of Justine Damond by a black Minneapolis cop has been much different than when Philando Castile was killed by an officer last year.
A year after Philando Castile was killed, Chiraag Bains of Harvard’s Criminal Justice Policy Program says, “I worry that this case will corrode people’s faith in the criminal justice system,. You can do everything right and still get shot.”
Jeronimo Yanez, a St. Anthony, Minn., police officer, was charged Wednesday with second-degree manslaughter and two felony counts of dangerous discharge of a firearm in the fatal shooting of Philando Castile during a July 6 traffic stop. Before Yanez, no officer had been charged in more than 150 police-involved deaths in Minnesota since 2000.
The shooting of a black man Wednesday night by a police officer in the Twin Cities became a social media sensation when the immediate aftermath was live-streamed on Facebook by the victim’s girlfriend as he died beside her.