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Cop shootings. People shooting cops. The news this week is full of crazy stories, some of which are hard to stomach. And now, up in Minnesota of all places, comes news that Governor Mark Dayton has come out and said Philando Castile would still be alive if he were white.

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For those just catching up on the Castile killing, it may be one of the hardest to explain. Castile, who had numerous minor traffic violations, was pulled over for a broken taillight. This part is routine. It happens thousands of times a day in this country and rarely ends with gunfire.

This time, tragically, it did. Castile was licensed to carry a concealed handgun. And he informed the officer that he was carrying a gun. Castile then reached into his back pocket to get his license. The cop at his window, seeing the movement, shot him. Possibly 5 times.
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There’s still a lot to this story that hasn’t been released. The videos of his last moments, which were live-streamed on Facebook, are gut wrenching. And the typical chorus of angry politicians has come out in force, saying that the main factor in Castile’s death was his race. The Governor of Minnesota, Mark Dayton, called for a complete investigation.

“Would this have happened if those passengers, the driver were white?” he asked in a press conference today. “I don’t think it would have.”

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“I can’t say how shocked I am and deeply, deeply offended that this would happen to somebody in Minnesota,” Dayton added. “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.”

As expected, the President has weighed in with some platitudes. “These are not isolated incidents,” Obama said. “They are symptomatic of a broader set of racial inequalities that exist in our criminal justice system.”

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Could this finally be the case that everyone can agree was completely unjustified? And if so, then what?