D Kevin McNeirEditor's ColumnOpinion

EDITOR’S COLUMN: Shoot Me, Kill Me — So the Family Can Get Paid

Valerie Castile, the mother of a Black motorist, Philando Castile, shot and killed by a Minnesota police officer a year ago, has agreed to a $2.99 million settlement with the city of St. Anthony lawyers announced earlier this week.

In this instance, the money will come from insurance funds and not the taxpayers according to a statement issued by the city and the family’s attorneys.

Yes, it’s entirely plausible that a routine traffic stop can lead to the death of a Black man. Yes, it’s entirely plausible that that same officer would be acquitted of manslaughter and other related charges by a jury of his peers.

And yes, tragically, it’s very plausible that because “all Blacks look alike,” that the officer in question, Jeronimo Yanez, could have easily mistaken Castile, guilty of driving with a broken taillight, for a suspect in a convenience store robbery just days before losing his life.

No amount of money can ever replace the 32-year-old man.

Driving while Black remains a dangerous notion here in America. And now that our president has opened the doors to unadulterated prejudice and hatred, seeming to approve of the actions of those who don’t like Blacks, gays, immigrants, Muslims, transgenders, etc., I fear that things will get much worse in our country before they get better.

We need saner voices to step up and say enough is enough.

We need Trump to be at the head of the pact.

But until that occurs, Black men may need to consider going into hiding for a while. The writing on the wall seems to imply that it’s now open season. And because of my Black skin, I have no way of removing the bull’s eye.

Rest in peace, Brother Castile!

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D. Kevin McNeir – Washington Informer Editor

Kevin, an award-winning veteran journalist, book editor and educator, is the editor for The Washington Informer where he displays a keen insight for political news, editorial development and lifestyle features. A staunch Wolverine, the Detroit native left a promising career at IBM to pursue his passion for writing under the tutelage of the late Sam Logan, founding publisher of the Michigan Chronicle. His journey has continued to press rooms in Grand Rapids, Chicago, Atlanta, Miami and currently Washington, D.C. With two master's degrees from Emory University and Princeton Theological Seminary, he finds great joy in his children and grandchildren and is completing his first book, "Growing up Motown" which chronicles his childhood memories with legends like Marvin Gaye, Kim Weston, the Four Tops, the Miracles, Gladys Knight, Berry Gordy and the Jackson Five.

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