At a press conference Thursday afternoon, Minnesota Governor Mark Dayton came to the same conclusion many have after watching the brutal aftermath of last night’s deadly police shooting in his state: If Philando Castile’s skin had been a different color, he’d still be alive.
“Would this have happened if those passengers, the driver, the passenger, were white? I don’t think it would have,” said Dayton. “This kind of racism exists. And it’s coming up now on all of us to vow to do whatever we can to see that it doesn’t happen, that it doesn’t continue to happen.”
Minnesota Gov. Mark Dayton: "Would this have happened if those passengers ... were white? I don't think it would." https://t.co/bUKFBeD59y— CNN (@CNN) July 7, 2016
At the same press conference, Dayton announced that he had asked the Department of Justice to investigate the shooting, but it was his clear sense of personal outrage that made the governor’s comments notable.
“I can’t say how shocked I am and deeply, deeply offended that this would happen to somebody in Minnesota,” said Dayton. “No one should be shot in Minnesota for a taillight being out of function. No one should be killed in Minnesota while seated in their car.”
On Wednesday, Louisiana Governor John Bel Edwards similarly announced that the Justice Department was handling the shooting of Alton Sterling, whose death at the hands of police was also captured in a viral video this week, but the governor who signed the state’s so-called “Blue Lives Matter” bill seemed more concerned about civil unrest than police misconduct.
“I have very serious concerns. The video is disturbing to say the least,” said Edwards. “One thing is for sure, another violent act or destruction of property is not the answer. We already have one family torn apart.”