I’m upset tonight and just have to get this out of my system. Yesterday Philando Castile, 32, was shot and killed by a police officer in St. Paul, Minnesota. I always get upset when something like this happens. What made this even more tragic was that his 4-year-old daughter was in the car with him and his girlfriend. The St. Paul School District for which he worked issued a statement today. He sounded like a wonderful man. (See the NPR article here.)
My son said the police officer kept shouting “Fuck, fuck!” after he shot him. It made me think that officer probably had no intention of shooting anyone, and I wondered how many of these police officers are traumatized every day before they even get out on the street for their tours. If that’s how it is, that’s a tragedy waiting to happen everyday. We know that, but no one knows how to fix it.
But what actually upset me was me! As I was talking to Brandon and reading the school district’s statement, I accidentally clicked on a link I didn’t mean to. What came up was Philando Castile’s girlfriend’s live feed of what happened immediately after he was shot. When she started streaming it to Facebook, Philando was still alive, but he died while she was recording it.
And like I dumb arse I just sat there and let it wash over me. It was like I was watching a crime drama on TV. And when it hit me a few seconds later, I was nearly sick. How many other people watched that video and had that kind of reaction — or should I say LACK of reaction?
I really just wanted to scream, “WHAT THE HELL IS WRONG WITH ME???”
That’s all. I just needed to say that because I was so shocked at my own reaction. I feel awful that I watched a human life be lost and didn’t feel anything… It was just so surreal…
Is it just me, or do other people find that lack of empathy so appalling?
Picture Credit: www.theodysseyonline.com