Trevor Noah Delivers Heartfelt Speech About Philando Castile Dashcam Video: "It Broke Me"
"What they’re basically saying is, in America it is officially reasonable to be afraid of a person just because they are black."
On Wednesday's Daily Show, Trevor Noah spoke about the emotions he felt when watching the recently released dashcam footage of officer Jeronimo Yanez shooting and killing Philando Castile after pulling him over for a broken brake light in July 2016.
Last week it was announced the Minnesota policeman was acquitted of all charges, and Noah said he thought he had "felt all I could feel about this story" until he saw the dashcam footage. He played the video for his viewers. In the video, Yanez asks Castile for his license and registration and Castile calmly informs Yanez that he has a handgun on him. Yanez tells him not to reach for it, both Castile and his girlfriend tell the officer that he is not reaching for it, Yanez screams "Don't pull it out," and then shoots seven times at Castile.
"I wont lie to you. When I watched this video, it broke me," said Noah. "You see so many of these videos and you start to get numb, but this one? Seeing the child, that little girl, getting out of the car after watching a man get killed, it broke my heart into little pieces."
Noah said it's painful that for years, people thought a solution to police shootings was to record everything that happened so it could be used as evidence.
"You watch that and, forget race, are we all watching the same video?" Noah asked. "The video where a law-abiding man followed the officer’s instructions to the letter of the law, and was killed regardless? People watched that video and then voted to acquit?”
He pointed out that there was another video of the incident, which Castile's girlfriend Diamond Reynolds streamed on Facebook Live immediately following the shooting. Noah quotes from that video after showing it, pointing out that Reynolds still refers to Yanez as "sir" following the shooting. “It’s f—ing mind-blowing that Diamond Reynolds has just seen her boyfriend shot in front of her. She still has the presence of mind to be deferential to the policeman. In that moment, the cop has panicked, but clearly black people never forget their training.”
Noah expressed his disbelief that jurors watched the video and still thought of Yanez as acting in self-defense and understood why he was afraid. "Was it because Philando Castile was being polite? Was it because he was following the officer’s instructions? Was it because he was in the car with his family? Or was it because Philando Castile was black?
"It's one thing to have the system against you — the district attorneys, the police unions, the courts — that’s one thing," continued the Daily Show host. "But when a jury of your peers, your community, sees this evidence and then decides that even this is self-defense? That is truly depressing. Because what they’re basically saying is in America, it is officially reasonable to be afraid of a person just because they are black."
Earlier this week, Trevor Noah spoke to his Daily Show audience about how he has been stopped by the police eight to 10 times in the six years he's lived in the U.S.
"I've been stopped in a Tesla. A Tesla, people. I don't know what silent crime I'm on my way to commit," he said. He revealed that every time he gets pulled over he throws his hands out the window, because he'd rather the policeman think he is weird than have them wonder where his hands are.