Saturday, July 29, 2017

Not Even the Least We Can Do

My 10th grade English teacher was an impatient man who probably shouldn't have been teaching young people (though he had his positive moments). One of his charming habits was to euphemize his desire to swear at his students by saying "Judas Priest" instead of "Jesus Christ." He pronounced it like this: jew. dust. priest! Each syllable fully enunciated.

Yesterday, I found myself sounding like that teacher when I learned from the Star Tribune that our state Board of Peace Officer Standards and Training rejected Governor Dayton's proposal to name a new police training fund after Philando Castile, who was killed by St. Anthony police officer Jeronimo Yanez last year. I am in favor of that renaming as the least we can do for a man who got no justice from his state.

But no. Our cops can't stand the idea of being reminded constantly that one of theirs killed this person.

Philando’s uncle, Clarence Castile, was recently appointed by the governor as one of two citizen positions on the board. He urged the other board members:

to use the fund as a reminder of both his nephew and the importance of better police training.

“It bridges the gap, it renews, it reinstates relationships,” he said. “It’s that olive branch being extended by law enforcement and government saying we want to try to start to rebuild.”
Castile and the other public representative on the board were the only members to vote in favor of changing the fund's name. The other eight members — all cops — each voted to keep it generic, with no reference to Philando.

Judas priest, people. Jew. Dust. Priest.

No comments: