This has been a bad week.
Philando Castile, cafeteria supervisor at J.J. Hill Montessori Magnet School, was killed after two police officers had him stop his vehicle: allegedly as part of a traffic stop.
That happened in Falcon Heights, a suburb of Saint Paul, Minnesota; near Como Park Zoo and Conservatory.
I was quite upset about the incident when I heard about it on radio news the next day. Philando Castile had apparently done exactly what he should have done: followed instructions of the police officer.
Later Thursday, I heard and read that someone had started shooting police officers at a demonstration in Dallas, Texas.
So far, six people are dead as a result of that incident: five police officers, and the person who apparently killed them. Seven officers and two civilians are still alive, but injured. I was quite upset about that, too.
I regret that these folks are dead, because all human life is sacred. Everyone’s life is sacred: no matter where the person’s ancestors lived, or what the person did. (Catechism of the Catholic Church, 2258, 2268–2283)
Apparently the person who killed the police officers in Dallas did so because he was upset over unjustified killings committed by police officers. That’s understandable, but being upset doesn’t make killing someone okay. (Catechism, 2268–2269)
Police apparently tried to talk with the person who killed folks in Dallas, learned why he was upset, and failed to convince him that not killing them was a good idea.
That is when they decided to send in a robot with explosives, as an alternative to risking their own lives in an effort to capture him.
I grieve that the killer is dead; but, given what I have read, taking his life seems reasonable. As I said, all human life is sacred. But “legitimate defense of persons and societies” allows the taking of life: if there really is no other alternative. (Catechism, 2263–2267, 2307–2317)
Finally, something I’ve said before, a lot, and will almost certainly say again.
I should love God, love my neighbors, see everybody as my neighbor, and treat others as I want to be treated. Everybody, no exceptions. (Matthew 5:43–44, 7:12, 22:36–40, Mark 12:28–31; Luke 6:31 10:25–27, 29–37)
More, from A Catholic Citizen in America’s Blogger version:
- “Death in Orlando: Love and Solidarity”
(June 14, 2016)
- “Hate People? Not an Option”
(September 6, 2015)
- “Charleston Church Shooting: Emotions and Reason”
(June 21, 2015)
- “Violence and deaths in downtown Dallas,” Bishop Kevin J. Farrell, (July 8, 2016)
- “Pray for Dallas,” Bishop Kevin J. Farrell, (July 8, 2016)
- “Archbishop Bernard A. Hebda to Offer Mass of Justice and Peace”
Archdiocese of St. Paul & Minneapolis (July 8, 2016)