Transcript, Web links and Credits below.
In October, a teenage boy named Charles Roundtree was shot and killed by police in San Antonio while he sat on the couch watching television. But none of us knew just how bad it was. The police chief lied about the shooting and the city tried to cover it up. But newly released body camera footage shows it’s a cold blooded murder. I’ll have action steps for us to take together.
This weekend, all over Europe, open white supremacists and bigots were elected to national governments. It’s the main story across most of Europe this morning and it should be the main story in the United States. I’ll unpack why it matters so much, tell you who the nefarious man is who is behind so much of it, and I’ll unpack what I think it means for the 2020 presidential elections in the United States.
Let’s dig in.
This is Shaun King and you are listening to (The Breakdown)!
Can you name a single person shot and killed by police so far this year? Just one? How about last year? Don’t feel bad. Most people can’t. It’s not that people aren’t being killed by police anymore, it’s that the national news is no longer interested, and the stories — as they were back in 90’s and early 2000s — the stories are staying local.
So this past October, in the middle of the night, after 1:00 a.m., on October 17, when a teenage boy named Charles Roundtree was brutally shot and killed while sitting on the couch at a friend’s house, I never heard about it. Not once. And I follow police shootings. The story never really made its way out of San Antonio. But what we’re learning now is that from Day 1, the police there, including San Antonio Police Chief William McManus, have openly lied about the case.
Charles was unarmed and nonviolent. Never in trouble. He was a good kid. He was literally sitting in the house watching TV. When Police Chief McManus first spoke about the case that day, he said that Charles was armed and threatened the officer.
Charles was never armed. And never said a word. He did nothing.
Then, just hours after Charles was killed, the police completely changed their story, and I wanna play it for you, because it’s a great example of how local media will just simply report whatever the police tell them, and treat it as fact. Not a word she says here is true. This is from the local ABC affiliate in San Antonio
I’ll break it down shortly.
(Insert News Clip)
None of that happened. And we know none of it happened, a full seven months after the shooting, because police have just now released the body camera footage.
And now we know that police officer Steve Casanova never even entered the house. Never once stepped foot inside of it and started speaking to somebody in the house. He made all of that up. Within 9 seconds, at 1:00 a.m. in the morning, without announcing himself, the officer stepped up to the front door and turned his flashlight on through the door. As soon as a man in the house gets up off the couch to see who it is, the officer starts firing his gun immediately. Charles Roundtree, the teenage boy who was still sitting on the couch, never stood a chance. He died right there in the house.
Nobody pulled a gun on the officer. They didn’t even find a gun in the entire house. Police later claimed they found a gun somewhere on the block, but admitted that it didn’t even have the DNA on it from the man they claimed pulled it out in the first place. In the video you won’t see a gun because nobody pulled a gun. And what we see here is an officer abandon multiple protocols, like a Billy Bada—, not announcing himself, shoot first and ask questions later, and he shot and killed a kid in the process. And the department, over and over again, lied about everything that happened. The shooting wasn’t an accident. It was reckless. Nobody in that house deserved to be shot.
I’m going to post the video of this shooting on all of our social media accounts so that you can see just how reckless it was. And we’re going to have a few action steps for you to take.
(Action Steps Music)
Action Step #1: I need you to make a phone call, ok? I need you to call the District Attorney of San Antonio. He’s a good man. I know him. Be respectful, but please call his office and ask to speak to DA Joe Gonzales or his assistant — and let them know that you want them to indict San Antonio Police Officer Steve Casanova for the shooting death of the unarmed teenager Charles Roundtree. Let them know that the officer lied about the shooting and that it violated the law and that you know they have the power to bring charges in this case. Here’s the number: (210) 335-2311
Action Step #2 is this: Let’s call the San Antonio Police Department. Ask to speak to someone in the office of Police Chief William McManus and let them know that they need to fire Officer Steve Casanova for his horrible shooting of Charles Roundtree. Here’s the number: (210) 207-7273
Which brings me to our next story.
The United States is incredibly isolated from the rest of the world. The world knows a lot about us, but most of us know next to nothing about the rest of the world. And that’s a huge reason why we started The North Star and why we launched The Breakdown — to educate and inform you in ways that the mainstream media simply doesn’t do.
Most Americans can’t name more than three or four Presidents or Prime Ministers from the 200-plus countries from around the world. Most Americans can’t point out most major nations on a globe. And most Americans have no idea that a global rise in white supremacy and white power is fully underway right now. It’s dangerous. And right now, all over Europe, bigots are celebrating because they’ve won major elections in nation after nation, winning seats in their parliament — which is like our Congress — and even becoming Prime Minister — which is like our Presidency. In some nations, new fringe political parties that were started on anti-immigrant, anti-Muslim, anti-Black, and Neo-Nazi sentiments went from barely having any power to controlling 25-30 percent of the entire government.
I’m not just talking about everyday mainstream conservatives. I’m talking about the far-right, the Alt-Right, and they won big.
They came in first in the UK.
They came in first in France.
They came in first in Italy.
They came in first in Hungary.
And guess who has been traveling, from nation to nation, boardroom to boardroom, consulting and advising each of these groups to victory?
Steve Bannon — the former Chief Strategist for Trump’s White House and campaign for President. More than any single American, he has all over the world advising white nationalists on how to gain political power. And it’s working.
And every day, several times a day, I check white supremacist message boards and chat groups. And they see this past weekend as the biggest election for the rise in global white power since the election of Donald Trump. And they are right. It’s a huge victory. In many nations, parties that have been in power for generations have been kicked into third and fourth place.
And all of these nations, and all of these leaders, are deeply inspired by Donald Trump. I actually saw several of them post photos posing with MAGA hats. Because here’s the thing — the President of the United State is always going to be deeply influential. So when the President demonizes Muslims, demonizes immigrants, and campaigns on banning all Muslims from entering the country, and then fights tooth and nail for a Muslim ban; when the President of the United States detains tens of thousands of refugees at the border, then snatches children from their mothers, without batting an eye, and then sends the children all over the United States while deporting their parents; and when all of those things are happening, white nationalists around the world feel emboldened. And they are now taking power in a way that we have hardly seen in our lifetime.
And what I want you to know right now is that they have real momentum. They are organizing well. And it means that Donald Trump is going to be very hard to be beat. I promise you he feels confident right now. His approval ratings are strong and I actually think they are stronger than they are being reported. And defeating him is going to take a full-on movement. It’s going to be an uphill battle and right now — if nothing changes — I think he has the upper hand.
Thank you all for making it all the way through this episode of The Breakdown!
If you haven’t already subscribed to our podcast, we’ll be right back here every single weekday, breaking down important news stories and issues, and we’d love for you to subscribe on your favorite podcast apps like Apple Podcasts or Spotify. Please share this podcast with your friends and family. Our next goal is to get to 100,000 subscribers and we won’t get there without you! Have you left a review yet? On Apple Podcasts we now have over 7,000 5-star reviews, but we’re aiming for 10,000 — so we still want to hear from you so please leave your best review when you get time.
Thank you so much to the nearly 30,000 founding members of The North Star whose generosity even makes this podcast possible. Love y’all and appreciate you so much.
If you love this podcast and want to support our work — or want to see the show notes and transcript for each episode — we’d love it if you considered becoming a founding member of our community at TheNorthStar.com. There we not only have our podcasts, but hundreds of original articles and stories and commentaries from some of the leading scholars and thinkers and journalists in the world.
Lastly, a shout out to our Associate Producer Lyssandra and Podcasting Director and Senior Producer, Willis, for their hard work on this and every episode.
Take care everybody.
Produced by Willis Polk II
Additional production by Christian “Idrys” Shannon
Additional Instrumentation by Christian “Idrys” Shannon & Lance “Lance Fury” Powlis
Additional Engineering by Amond “AJ” Jackson for Salem Psalms Library
Additional Vocals by Garnett “Natti” Bush & Jason Coffey
Scratches by Kenny “DJ FlipFlop” Vanderberg
Contains samples from:
“The Prodigal” by JustMe