Just days after former Minnesota officer Jeronimo Yanez was found not guilty in the death of Philando Castile, Michael B. Jordan is speaking out about the acquittal.
The “Black Panther” actor expressed that he felt “helpless” but vowed to take action in an Instagram post on Sunday. The image he used was an illustration of Castile and a quote from his mother next to a list of 14 other black people who died as a result of encounters with police or a neighborhood watchman but never received justice.
“They want us to feel helpless & right now I feel it,” Jordan wrote. “How do we unify? Where do we turn? What do we do? How do we fight? How do we stand? I don’t have the answers but I know I’m going to be a part of the change, and not just today, everyday until we see real change ... I am Philando Castile.”
Castile’s case is the latest in which a police officer escaped conviction. Yanez pulled Castile’s car over in July 2016 after saying over a police scanner that he intended on stopping the 32-year-old because his “wide-set nose” looked like that of a robbery suspect’s.
When the cop stopped him, Castile informed him that he had a licensed gun in the car, according to his girlfriend, Diamond Reynolds. Yanez told him not to reach for it. Castile said that he was reaching for his identification papers, as instructed, Reynolds said. Yanez then shot Castile seven times while his seatbelt was on, with Reynolds and her daughter watching. Reynolds livestreamed the final moments of Castile’s life.
Yanez testified in court that he was scared for his life and “had no other choice.”
In a press conference after the verdict, Castile’s mother, Valerie, shared her hurt and anger about the decision.
“The system in this country continues to fail black people and will continue to fail us,” she said outside the courtroom. “My son loved this city, and this city killed my son. And a murderer gets away.”