trevor noah

Screengrab via The Daily Show with Trevor Noah/YouTube

Trevor Noah on watching the Philando Castile dashcam video: ‘It broke me’

'It broke my heart into little pieces.'


Michelle Jaworski

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Posted on Jun 22, 2017   Updated on May 23, 2021, 2:14 am CDT

A jury found Minnestoa police officer Jeronimo Yanez not guilty last week, after he fatally shot Philando Castile during a traffic stop, and Trevor Noah already tackled the verdict by calling out the NRA over its hypocrisy on gun ownership. He also revealed to his audience just how often he’s been pulled over during his short time in the U.S. He thought he had already reached his emotional limit with the story until he saw the dashcam footage.

Noah warned the audience ahead of time that the dashcam footage, which was shown at Yanez’s trial, was graphic. It captured the moments before Yanez shot Castile multiple times as Castile identified himself as a registered gun owner. It wasn’t the first time Noah had watched the footage, but he was still visibly upset afterwards.

“I won’t lie to you, when I watched this video, it broke me. It just, it broke me,” Noah said. “You see so many of these videos and you start to get numb, but this one? Seeing the child—that little girl—getting out of the car after watching a man get killed, it broke my heart into little pieces.”

But the Castile shooting—and the eventual acquittal of his killer—demonstrated for Noah just how stacked the system is against black people. He couldn’t understand how people watched the video and still unanimously ruled the officer who shot him was not guilty.

In recent years, people have seen the broader use of police body cameras, seen indictments and charges finally brought against more police officers, and seen some of them brought to trial. But even with all that, it’s still nearly impossible to get a guilty verdict from a jury.

“It’s one thing to have the system against you—the district attorneys, the police unions, the courts—that’s one thing,” Noah explained. “But when a jury of your peers, your community, sees this evidence and then decides that even this is self-defense? That is truly depressing. Because what they’re basically saying is in America, it is officially reasonable to be afraid of a person just because they are black.”

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*First Published: Jun 22, 2017, 7:44 am CDT