The ugly status quo in America in the summer of 2016:
Two black men are shot and killed by police officers within 48 hours.
Community outrage is expressed in Louisiana, then in Minnesota.
Federal investigations are demanded.
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Politicians bemoan the situation.
Rinse the blood away.
Get ready to repeat.
Cellphone videos quickly surfaced of the incidents, adding to the anguish.
One showed Sterling, who appeared to be pinned to the ground and struggling with two officers outside a convenience store before one shouted “gun,” indicating Sterling had one. Shots followed.
The other video was shot by Castile’s girlfriend, Diamond Reynolds, who sat in a car with the dying victim. The video only showed the emotionally wrenching aftermath of the shooting, which Reynolds said came after the officer asked for identification from Castile.
For good reasons, Minnesota Gov. Mark Dayton said Thursday he didn’t think a white driver would have been shot by the police in a similar situation.
President Barack Obama spoke for most Americans when he said they ought to be “deeply troubled” by the two shootings. He added that “all Americans should recognize the anger, frustration, and grief” being felt across the country.
All of those emotions are understandable. Yet they also fall far short of what’s really needed to change the untenable state of affairs.
Among the needed actions are better training and more body cameras for police — and less racist behavior on their part.
Above all, officers need to stop killing people they are sworn to protect.