New York – Following the acquittal of Jeronimo Yanez, a Minnesota police officer charged with manslaughter for fatally shooting Philando Castile, a Black man, during a traffic stop, Stosh Cotler, CEO of Bend the Arc Jewish Action, released the following statement:
“Philando Castile was killed by a police officer at a traffic stop with his girlfriend and 4-year-old daughter in the car, an incident his girlfriend broadcast live to the world via streaming video on Facebook. Nobody who has watched that video can think that this is the way policing is supposed to work in America. Nobody who has watched that video can say that it demonstrates the values that we cherish. Something is broken in the way our justice system is treating people of color like Philando Castile. And yet with today’s verdict, our justice system has failed Philando a second time. Nobody will be held to account.
“As Jews with a deep belief in the humanity and dignity of all people, we will continue to mourn Philando’s death and our society’s failure to hold police officers accountable for their actions. We’ll also remain committed to standing with our allies in the #BlackLivesMatter movement and demanding real change to our criminal justice system and law enforcement policies. We maintain the vision of a society in line with our Jewish values, one where all people, including our Black brothers and sisters, have their humanity recognized and their dignity upheld.”