CBTU President Statement on the Acquittal of Philando Castile’s Murderer

No Justice for Philando Castile: CBTU President Statement on the Acquittal of Philando Castile’s Murderer

Statement by Rev. Terrence L. Melvin
President, Coalition of Black Trade Unionists
On Friday, June 16, justice was not served again, as the officer in the shooting death of Philando
Castile was found not-guilty. This pattern of injustice would reach comedic heights if not for the
bodies buried as a punchline. The justice system has sent a message that under any conditions an
officer can murder a black person with zero reprisal, zero accountability, and zero punishment. This
verdict maintains the precedent that in relationship to other races, Black Lives Do Not Matter.
Many people will point out that the officer in question was Latino and therefore race has nothing to do
with this case, but that is a narrow and rather naive approach to the conversation. The race of the
officer matters not in these cases, what matters are the victims and the system perpetuating the
violence. Systemic racism is where we find our most oppressive systems memorialized in institutions.
While the race of officers may vary, the fact that all officers are empowered and encouraged to enact
violent justice on Blacks means that the system is the racial aggravator not the individual. Any officer
of any race can be lured into the practice of racial injustice by their commanders, the protocols they
are forced to follow, and the environment they work in. It could have been a Black officer who shot
Philando and this would still be a case of racism. That is because the American justice system and
our police institutions promote and propagate this racial inequity.
Police Officers need to address the system they work under. When we have a racist household, we
can always assume the children will grow up to be racist too. Such is the same with systemic racism.
Any person who becomes an officer is indoctrinated in a racist system that encourages the
mistreatment of Blacks. The trainers care not of the race of the trainees as long as protocol was
followed. And, the protocol is to kill a Black person and suffer no consequence.
With ample videos, and witnesses, and statements available it seemed like Philando and his family
would be the rare case that received justice. Once again, we were fooled to believe that even in overt
cases we could achieve some vindication. We have once again been taught a different lesson. And
just like how a racist household raises racist kids, homes fearful of police will raise children distrustful
of officers. We are breeding racists who in turn are creating anarchists, as our communities no longer
trust law and order and seek solutions outside the parameters of a system designed to oppress them.
Philando will not get justice from a crooked system, but his legacy will empower a generation to fight
back. I am worried, for as JFK once said: “Those that make people revolution impossible, make
violent revolution inevitable.” I hope the system can change peacefully before others force it to
change violently. The violence must stop, but it has to start first with them not killing us. Then and
only then can we begin to fix it properly.

Latest posts

COALITION OF BLACK TRADE UNIONISTS TRI -STATE REGION 1 Conference

**REVISED CONVENTION CALL**

 

Dear CBTU Brother and Sisters:

 

I am excited to announce that the Coalition of Black Trade Unionists Annual Region 1 Conference will be held July 19-21, 2024, at The Doubletree Hotel, 6301 State Route 298, East Syracuse, NY. 

Continuing the celebration of the International CBTU 53rd Anniversary, our theme is also “Never Back, Always Forward: Hate Cannot Erase Us.”  The agenda will consist of education and information that will give us an opportunity to reflect on our power and influence in the labor movement and our communities in the fight for social and economic justice.

 

In solidarity

Sharon Lovelady-Hall, CBTU Region 1 Director

Andrea McCormack, Secretary 

Nina Manning, Treasurer

Ursula Howard, Women’s Committee Chair        

Eugene Williams, Men’s Committee Chair 

LaNette Murphy,Youth Committee Chair  

Juanita Forde, Younger Workers Committee Chair

                       

[email protected]

 

GENERAL MEMBERSHIP MEETING

 

May 1st, 2024 

 

Greetings CBTU Members: 

The Executive Board would like to have a meeting to prepare for the busy months ahead. There is so much happening quickly and it's important that we can get information to you. Please ensure you are signed up to the current Whatsapp chat. 

Please continue to follow the WhatsApp CBTU Ontario chat :

 

African Refugee Support

                               

Dear CBTU Family and CBTU friends,

Enclosed are the details for the next Shared Closet event in support of the African Refugees in Canada.

The event will take place at the OPSEU Union Hall, located at 31 Wellesley Ave, Toronto, on the dates and times shown on the bulletin. Please join CBTU as we come together to assist those within our community who need our support the most. We are asking CBTU members, their families, and supporters for donations of time, finances, gently used clothing, toiletries, and more.

Please join CBTU and our alli Shared Closet as we actively work to improve living and working conditions within the Black community. 

Please share in your networks


In solidarity

CBTU - Canada

Take action

Resources