Daily Show's Trevor Noah Says New Philando Castile Footage 'Broke Me'

Trevor Noah isn’t just angry about the recent acquittal of Philando Castile’s shooter. He’s heartbroken.

On Wednesday’s Daily Show, Noah played newly released dashcam footage of the moment Minnesota police officer Jeronimo Yanez shot Castile five times during a July 2016 traffic stop. Prefacing the footage, Noah remarked, “If you’ve already watched this video, you don’t have to watch it again. I wouldn’t say anyone has to watch this video, but if you haven’t seen it, it is graphic and you probably should watch it.

“I won’t lie to you: When I watched this video, it broke me. It just— it broke me,” he continued. “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.” After reflecting on stereotypes about black dads, Noah emphasized, “that‘s a black dad that’s gone. That’s a child that grows up not knowing what it’s like to have somebody in their life.” He then tried to make sense of all of the solutions that were meant to stop police shootings like this one from happening.

“For years, people said… just give the police body cameras [and] film everything, then there will be no question about what happened. And black people have already taken that initiative; thanks to cellphones, every black person has a body camera now,” including Castile’s girlfriend, Diamond Reynolds, who filmed the immediate aftermath of the shooting and her interaction with Yanez. But worst of all, Noah said, was that the jury saw this footage and still somehow sided with the officer.

“Having watched that video, having listened to that exchange, they still said ‘Yes, I can see why that cop was afraid.’ But why?” Noah asked. “Let’s be honest… Why would you say he was afraid? Was it because Philando Castile was being polite? Was it because he was following the officer’s instructions? Was it because he was in the car with his family? Or was it because Philando Castile was black?

“It’s one thing to have the system against you — the district attorneys, the police unions, the courts — that’s one thing. But when a jury of your peers — your community — sees this evidence and 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’re black.'”

Press PLAY on the video above to watch Noah’s somber commentary in full, then sound off below.

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33 Comments
  1. I just have to say ... says:

    For the record, Yanez’s pulled the trigger 7 times, hitting Philando 5 times. The other 2 bullets lodged in the car seats.
    .
    I live in Minneapolis & have followed this case very closely.

    • DL says:

      Wow didn’t even know that. Castile’s girlfriend or daughter could have been hit. How is that not reckless endangerment? I know people don’t want cops getting shot because they hesitate, but we need some middle ground.
      .
      Police officers who are in raw terror when a black man politely informs him about a legal weapon should never have passed a psych evaluation or graduated from the academy. Where are our standards?
      .
      It’s the same as Terence Crutcher. He was supposedly reaching inside his window, even though the window is closed on video. Nevertheless he was shot and killed. Having police officers on the street who are this jumpy and undiscerning with lethal force is a danger to us all.

      • Chance says:

        The cop was too green it’s true, but he clearly tells the guy not to reach and he does anyway. Tough call. I lay a lot of the blame on the St. Anthony P.D. undertrained cop and no body cam.

        • Mary says:

          He asked for his license and registration. Castile informed him he had a fire arm. He said don’t pull it out and he responded I’m not. Then several shots while a child and Woman was in the car. Come on. This cop was not justify no matter how you look at it. Is it a race thing, don’t know, but it does seem to happen quite often. If nothing else this could be another reason why open carry should not be allowed, but of course we won’t have that discussion thanks to the NRA and the gun Fanatics in the US. No I am not anti cops before everyone starts attacking.

          • Alkaline Adeline says:

            I agree with you!
            Trained professional should not be so trigger happy when confronting people of color.
            We are human also!

    • ....?? says:

      This just broke me..so this police officer endangered the lives of 2 other citizens and killed 1 innocent man who was complying with his request and he is considered to have done nothing wrong.
      This is infuriating, I honestly hope this cop never knows a day of peace in his life, I hope the guilt drives him clinically insane. He gets to live his life as normal yet he denied one to a citizen he was meant to protect. He essentially ruined many lives because of this one act…and he gets to walk away scot-free. The US is messed up!

      • Otis says:

        The officer told him not to reach for it and repeated that a couple of times. You (nor I) know what Castile was doing in the car because we can’t see. There is no footage (that I am aware of) from inside the car during the stop. The only footage is from the dashcam (which does NOT allow one to see into the car) and video from the girlfriend after the incident. Yanez didn’t know where the gun is (you never hear Castile tell him and he tells another officer while back in his car that he was never told where it is). If Castile reached to an area where the officer cannot see without the officer’s direction, especially if he doesn’t inform the officer where the gun is, it is reasonable for the officer to think he is reaching for his gun. If Castile has a Concealed Carry permit, he should have been taught how to deal with police when he has a weapon in his car. None of that means there wasn’t another way of handling the situation but, it is understandable why a jury would say the prosecution didn’t prove the case beyond a reasonable doubt.

  2. Tribal Mischief says:

    It breaks my heart too.

  3. Youry De Jong says:

    You folks live in a messed up country. Damn.

  4. MMD says:

    I will never understand your gun mentality. NEVER

    • JG says:

      This isn’t an issue of America’s “gun mentality” – though of course that’s an issue in an of itself. This is an issue of institutional racism, and the means by which training of law enforcement officials validates, and promotes it. I will never discount the danger law enforcement faces on a daily basis (in part because of our gun mentality), but there has to be accountability for those charged with protecting us, to hold themselves to the highest standard. We don’t do a very good job of that…

      • Chance says:

        A major factor in the lack of qualified officers is the worthiness of applicants. The smartest and most ethical people are not the ones applying for the job. The anti-cop sentiment as well as the risks dissuade many from considering a career in law enforcement. Most who do join have no background in police science or military discipline.

  5. Jk says:

    I’m sorry but unless you sat on that jury and heard all the testimony, you don’t know all the evidence. From what I understand, at least some of the jurors who acquitted this man where black as well, so making this all about race seems stupid. This is tragic, no doubt, and the officer did lose his job as he probably well should have. But to assume more about exactly what happened without having heard all the testimony and evidence is reckless. It sounded like the officer instructed the man multiple times not to pull out his weapon yet reacted as if he didn’t listen. The truth is I wasn’t there and the video only shows part of the story. The people who heard all of the evidence then sat together and discussed it decided the officer deserved to be acquitted of manslaughter at least.

    • Termy says:

      Agree we were not in the jury room, but some of these vids have no explanation. Like the black man that was shot in the back and killed while running away from a cop. Or the black man that had his hands raised and was killed because he was a “threat.”

      These police departments need better training. There are some great examples of cities around the country that train properly and these type of shootings are very low in those cities.

      • Fabrizia says:

        The cop that killed the man running away was arrested.

        • Joey says:

          If you’re referring to Michael Slager murdering Walter Scott, that ended in a mistrial due to a hung jury. He was later indicted on federal charges and pled guilty.

    • Freddie says:

      A man losing his job won’t bring his innocent victim back to life, though, will it?
      None of us can re-write history. None of us saw what that jury saw. None of us can read the mind of that police officer before he gunned down a man who was in lawful possession of a firearm.
      But what will it take for one of these cops to be held accountable for being so terrified by the sight of a black man that they only saw murder as a way out?
      The officer lost his job for murdering an innocent man. Am I the only who feels like he, and many more like him, should have never been a cop in the first place?
      I have many long-standing issues with U.S. gun laws, their loopholes and their lack of infrastructural support. But this is only a gun issue insofar as this must be the only time the NRA hasn’t made a fuss about gun rights not being respected.
      The systemic problem of armed law officers being so terrified by the mere sight of a black man that killing that black man seems like a rational response to a jury seems to be the larger problem here.

    • nicholas says:

      Dude go to sleep… There always some plunker tryn to make since of it all.. it’s plain out a Coward move by the cop who seems to cool as ice in the court room,but a out of control coward on the streets that patrol our neighborhoods…

  6. Charissa29 says:

    Sometimes it is just disheartening to be American. Sigh.

  7. pickles says:

    He can always go home to S Africa . It is a sad video but the girlfriend made it all about her and I think she was recently arrested.

  8. AngieD says:

    I do think that police officers should wear body cams. While they can discredit them in some instances, I think they will often back up their decisions. Without seeing all of the evidence, it’s difficult to determine if the officer should have felt threatened – it was dark and he could’ve thought that the victim was reaching for his gun. However, he DEFINITELY used excessive force. Seriously, why would you need to empty your gun on someone that’s in a confined space at such close proximity????

  9. Angela says:

    After reflecting on stereotypes about black dads, Noah emphasized, “that‘s a black dad that’s gone. That’s a child that grows up not knowing what it’s like to have somebody in their life.”
    .
    This is a particularly powerful point.

    • Chance says:

      Study statistics. 70% of black children are in fatherless homes. 37% of children in foster care are black despite blacks only comprising 13% of the US population. And as for TN’s remark, PC was not the father of that child or any others.

      • Freddie says:

        Chance, you should study statistics yourself, if you’re going to invoke them like that. Study the percentage of black men imprisoned for non-violent crimes compared to white men. Compare the level of income of those men versus their white counterparts.
        And then face the facts. Yes, there are violent people in prison no one is too sorry to see behind bars.
        But, just like it’s too easy for a law enforcement officer to be terrified to death by the mere sight of a black man, it’s also way too easy to find black men serving long sentences for non-violent crimes simply because they couldn’t afford either a decent legal defence team or to pay a fine.
        And even if every single black child in U.S. foster care was there because of lousy parenting and every black man was in jail because of a violent crime he’s actually guilty of, Philando Castile DID NOT commit any crime here. He was a good man and a good role model for that child, whether she was his or not.

        • Syl says:

          I think Chance was referring to TN’s remark implying that the child in the car lost a father. The child has a father and it wasn’t Philando C. and there’s been no indication that he lived with them. Regarding the stats, deadbeat dads who are not incarcerated are legend in the black community. I live in the Twin Cities and it’s bad.

  10. I haven’t bothered going beyond the headline as I have looked at the video several times. I cannot understand, given the fact that the young man was repeating the phrase people carrying guns are supposed to repeat to a policeman when they are stopped. I cannot understand why a jury would acquit this man. My take on the young policeman was he apparently was a new officer and was still learning how to handle stops. My assumption was he misheard, as so many of us do. But why would he think an armed man was going to announce that fact? Why did he shoot?
    Fear? Of a man in a car with family who told him of the action he was about to take, that he was going to be reaching for his permit to carry. And barely shifted to begin to turn.
    What did the officer think he was about to do?
    Are they trying to say this was an accident waiting to happen because the officer was young and new on the job?
    Then they need to re-train their entire force AND develop procedures especially for new officers that prevent specifically shooting a person who has announced he has a permit to carry and was going to reach for the permit.
    What kind of shenanigans did they use to get this poorly trained officer acquitted of committing homicide? The police force needs to be sued for endangering the public by putting out poorly trained officers with guns before they are more seasoned. If at all.

  11. .#TrevorNoah speaks so much truth. Continue on sir; don’t ever let the haters, bigots & negative comments keep you from being brave & giving a voice to the voiceless. You are amazing. RIP .#PhilandoCastille