ISAIAH Statement on Not Guilty Verdict in Homicide of Philando Castile
The officer who killed Philando Castile was found not guilty on all counts. This is not justice. This is the reinforcement of a story that says, black people are to be feared and the perception of them as a threat will always supersede God’s will for life.
We are angry, devastated, frustrated, and hurt, but not surprised. We know that the laborious work of transforming hearts, minds and mentalities to reject racism and anti-blackness will not happen overnight. We have so much work to do. This trial is much larger than Officer Jeronimo Yanez or the many other homicide by police cases across the country. These events are about us.
This is about our complicity in a society that either encourages or tolerates a narrative about who is fully human and who isn’t. Who deserves and who doesn’t. We should all be wrestling with our own prejudices and biases that contribute to the demonic belief that fear of and violence toward black people is justified. This belief takes lives and makes justice an impossibility.
Our hope is that this travesty is a catalyst that propels us into the Truth that each of our lives and Philando’s are inseparably connected. Until we ALL do that, we will continue this cycle of violence and consent to more violence.
Yanez is the first officer tried for the killing of a civilian in modern Minnesota history. This is a result of the collective voices of the oppressed lamenting loud. Each of us is called to join the movement for our collective liberation. We must be repairers of the breach, restorers of streets to dwell in. The time is now.
But let justice roll on like a river, righteousness like a never-failing stream! Amos 5:24