July 6, 2019 marked 3 years since Philando Castile was murdered in Falcon Heights, Minnesota by St. Anthony police officer Jeronimo Yanez. Yanez has yet to be held to account for the panicked over reaction that resulted in the death of Philando for no good reason.
The city of Falcon Heights has taken steps to confront and address this problem. As their contract with St. Anthony Police ended in 2018, they chose to work with the Ramsey County Sheriff to police their city. The most recent effort by Falcon Heights city officials to recognize and atone for Castile's murder was the Cultivating a Caring Community: Understanding and Healing Event, held on 7-6-19.
What are character traits and/or steps toward societal and cultural change that will create a more understanding and healing? Melanie Leehy lays that question bare as her queries the panelists as to what each person listening can do to help create a more just society.
John Thompson answers by telling the story of when he did care enough about his friend Philando's perspective that he wrote it off. Including the day before he opened FB to see his friend die from gunshot woundfs inflicted by a scared, panicky, St. Anthony police officer. Today, John cares deeply and is tirelessly working to help the rest of us learn from his indifference. Valerie Castile brings it home. What if this happened to your child? What who you do? Castile connects her Son's murder to larger, historical, and fundamental threads of white supremacy and the social role of police. Kay Andrews closes the cycle by reiterating listening, communication, and humility as the bases of healing and understanding.