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Mourners gathered at St. Paul Cathedral on Thursday to pay their respects to Philando Castile, the 32-year-old Minnesota man who was fatally shot by a police officer during a traffic stop. During the service, several people who were close to Castile spoke highly of his character. Rev. Steve Daniels Jr. spoke out: “Once again we have the death of an innocent black man whose life was taken at the hands of an officer due to his wide-set nose,” he said. He also said that the Black Lives Matter movement “simply implies that we want to be respected—valued in the same light as other ethnic groups.” Several political leaders attended the funeral service, including Minnesota Governor Mark Dayton and Sen. Al Franken. Pallbearers, donning all white suits, marched down Selby Avenue with their fists raised. Despite the tragic circumstances, Castile’s loved ones believe his death was not in vain. “The message sent across the world was a catalyst that will bring about reformation, justice and peace. Something good is going to happen,” wrote his aunt in the funeral pamphlet. “You made history, you opened their eyes,” wrote his sister. Following the ceremony, Castile’s casket was put on a horse-drawn carriage, where it was taken to a private burial. Castile’s death made headlines after his girlfriend live-streamed the moments after he was shot on Facebook. Read more.


Report: Racial Disparities in Arrest Rates in Town Where Philando Castile Was Shot

A new study revealed that the Minnesota town where Philando Castile was fatally shot by a police officer has racial disparities when it comes to arrest rates. According to the data, there were 944 arrests made since January; 47 percent of those who were apprehended were Black and 46 percent were White. U.S. Census data shows that African-Americans account for 7 percent of the population in Falcon Heights, Lauderdale, and St. Anthony. “The data unfortunately shows that St. Anthony and Falcon Heights face many of the same challenges that Minneapolis, St. Paul and other communities are dealing with,” said St. Anthony city manager Mark Casey. “In light of the recent incidents, we have done additional review (of the data) and we do share concerns about the information and what it represents. Racial inequality, in terms of arrests and incarceration, is a complex yet urgent challenge for all of us.” According to reports, Castile has been pulled over 52 times over the last 14 years. Read more.


D.L. Hughley and Fox’s Megyn Kelly Get into Heated Debate over Police Brutality

Comedian D.L. Hughley has always been very vocal about racial injustice in our country. During a recent sit-down with Fox News’ Megyn Kelly, the two got into a heated argument about the death of Philando Castile. Kelly claimed that connecting the word racism to all the tragic shootings before details about the incident are revealed is wrong. “Most reasonable people will give you that. But you know what shuts down all reasonable dialogue is throwing out the term ‘racism’ before it’s been proven,” she said. Hughley then referred to a 2006 FBI report that brought attention to the influence that White supremacist groups have on some law enforcement officials. “I don’t know a black man that hasn’t had a run-in with police. From the highest to the lowest,” said Hughley. He also stated the word “racism” seems to be non-existent on Fox News. “The only place racism doesn’t exist is Fox News and the police department,” said Hughley. “That’s insulting,” said Kelly. “You just insulted millions of people watching this channel.” Read more.


Sen. Tim Scott Says He Was Stopped By Police Seven Times in One Year

Black politicians are not exempt from racial bias. While discussing the tarnished relationship between law enforcement officials and communities of color, South Carolina Sen. Tim Scott revealed he was stopped by police officers seven times in one year while he was an elected official. “Was I speeding sometimes? Sure. But the vast majority of the time I was pulled over for driving a new car in the wrong neighborhood or something else just as trivial,” he said while speaking on the Senate floor Wednesday. “I do not know many African-American men who do not have a very similar story to tell no matter their profession. No matter their income, no matter their disposition in life.” He said that with each stop, a sense of dignity is lost: “There is absolutely nothing more frustrating, more damaging to your soul than when you know you’re following the rules and being treated like you are not.” He also called on others in the Senate to avoid turning a blind eye to these issues just because they haven’t experienced them themselves. “We must find a way to fill these cracks in the very foundation of our country,” he said. Read more.


Silicon Valley Tries to Capitalize on Black Lives Matter Movement

Following the tragic deaths of Alton Sterling and Philando Castile, companies in Silicon Valley have tried to show their solidarity with the Black Lives Matter movement. However, people are wondering whether they are genuinely down for the cause, or if they are trying to further their branding efforts. When Black Lives Matter activist DeRay Mckesson got arrested, some of the companies used the situation as a marketing opportunity. “Yes that is a @Twitter @blackbirds logo,” posted Salesforce CEO Marc Benioff, referring to the Twitter t-shirt Mckesson was wearing when he was apprehended. “Amazing to see tech as vehicle for social change. Respect.” Mckesson was Periscoping during his arrest and the company used the situation as a marketing tool as well. “Where would you explore, if you could teleport somewhere and be in somebody else’s shoes? You’ll be able to learn more about Periscope later this year. Please reach out to us if you’re interested in joining the team,” read the sidebar of an article posted by Tech Crunch titled “Black Lives Matter activist DeRay McKesson arrested while Periscoping.” “That anyone could see a picture of a black man being arrested for protesting against the wrongful killing of another black man and respond ‘Hey look at the Twitter logo,’ would be mind-boggling if it happened anywhere else,” said Erica Joy Baker, co-founder of Project Include, and an engineer at Slack. “In the tech industry though, it’s par for the course.” Read more.

PHOTO CREDIT: Getty

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