Philando Castile Shot and Killed By Minnesota Police During Traffic Stop

A woman livestreamed the heartbreaking moments after her boyfriend was shot and killed by a cop Wednesday near Minneapolis.

In the Facebook video, the woman, identified by WCCO as Diamond Reynolds, claims the couple were pulled over for a busted taillight and that her boyfriend Philando Castile informed the police officer he was carrying a permitted firearm.

She said that he was reaching for his wallet before the policeman shot around four times.

“Please no, don’t let him be gone. Why?!” Reynolds yelled on her video as Castile, 32, slumps back in the driver’s seat of his car, blood running across his shirt.

“I told him not to reach for it,” the cop says as he continues to point his weapon into the vehicle. “I told him to get his hand off it.”

Near the end of the nearly 10-minute clip, Reynolds begins screaming as she sits handcuffed in the back of a police cruiser with her young daughter.

“It’s OK, mama,” the little girls says as her mother asks for help from those on Facebook. “It’s OK, I’m right here with you.”

Castile, who worked as a cafeteria supervisor at a local Montessori school, later died at Hennepin County Medical Center, relatives told WCCO.

In Reynolds’ video an officer said that she was being detained, and it was not immediately clear where she was early Thursday.

On social media friends relatives of Castile expressed their grief at the sudden and violent loss.

“My family will never be the same!!! This has rocked me to the core!!! I lost my cousin to the hands of the police,” IRok Wilson posted.

St. Anthony interim police chief Jon Mangseth told reporters Wednesday night that two of his officers were the ones at the traffic stop with Castile.

He said that he was aware of the Facebook video, which was taken down before being put back up early Thursday, but did not have details about it.

Mangseth, who said that he could not remember another officer-involved shooting in the neighborhood of Falcon Heights, said early Thursday that the officer who shot was on paid administrative leave.

Minnesota’s Bureau of Criminal Apprehension is investigating the incident.

More than 100 people gathered at the scene of the shooting late Wednesday, Nekima Levy-Pounds, the president of the Minneapolis NAACP said.

She told early Thursday .that “there is no reason why he should have wound up dead at the end of that encounter with the police. There have been white men who have been armed and had confrontations with the police and ended up alive.”

“Why did that officer feel the need to take his life and how is that acceptable in this society,” she said, adding that the officers involved should be fired and prosecuted.

She added that she was coordinating with the St. Paul NAACP about a response to the shooting.

Prosters also gathered at the Governor’s Mansion early Thursday, chanting Castile’s name as late as 3 a.m. local time.

Social media users also voiced their over the shooting, which came less than 48 hours after the police shooting of Alton Sterling outside a convenience store in Baton Rouge, La.

1 reply
  1. Joe Levin
    Joe Levin says:

    FALCON HEIGHTS, Minn. – A Minnesota officer fatally shot a man in a car with a woman and a child, an official said, and authorities are looking into whether the aftermath was livestreamed in a widely shared Facebook video, which shows a woman in a vehicle with a man whose shirt appears to be soaked in blood telling the camera “police just shot my boyfriend for no apparent reason.”

    St. Anthony Police interim police chief Jon Mangseth said the incident began when an officer pulled over a vehicle around 9 p.m. Wednesday in Falcon Heights, a St. Paul suburb that Mangseth’s department serves. Mangseth said he did not have details about the reason for the traffic stop, but that at some point shots were fired. The man was struck but no one else was injured, he said.

    As word of the shooting and video spread, relatives of the man joined scores of people who gathered at the scene of the shooting and outside the hospital where the man died and identified him as Philando Castile of St. Paul, a 32-year-old cafeteria supervisor at a Montessori school.

    Speaking to CNN early Thursday, Castile’s mother said she suspected she would never learn the whole truth about her son’s death.

    “I think he was just black in the wrong place,” Valerie Castile said, adding that she had underlined to her children to that they must do what authorities tell them to do to survive. Police have not released details on the ethnicity or service record of the police officer involved but to say he has been placed on paid administrative leave.

    “I know my son … we know black people have been killed … I always told them, whatever you do when you get stopped by police, comply, comply, comply.”

    Police use of force, particularly against minorities, has returned to the national spotlight since the video-recorded fatal shooting earlier this week of 37-year-old Alton Sterling by police in Baton Rouge, Louisiana. The U.S. Justice Department on Wednesday launched a civil rights investigation into the shooting, which took place after Sterling, who was black, scuffled with two white police officers outside a convenience store.

    Castile’s cousin, Antonio Johnson, told the Star Tribune that he believed that because Philando Castile was a black man driving in Falcon Heights, a largely middle-class suburb, he “was immediately criminally profiled and he lost his life over it tonight.”

    The site of the shooting in Falcon Heights is close to the Minnesota State Fairgrounds and not far from a clutch of fields associated with the University of Minnesota’s agricultural campus.

    Late Wednesday, protesters moved to the governor’s mansion in nearby St. Paul, where around 200 people chanted and demanded action from Democratic Gov. Mark Dayton. By daybreak Thursday, around 50 protesters remained outside the mansion despite a light rain.

    The video posted Wednesday night on Facebook Live appears to show the aftermath of a shooting like the one described by Mangseth. It shows the woman in a car next to a bloodied man quietly slumped in a seat. The woman describes being pulled over for a “busted tail light” and her boyfriend being shot as he told the officer that he was carrying a pistol and was licensed. A clearly distraught person who appears to be an armed police officer stands at the car’s window, telling the woman to keep her hands where they are and intermittently swearing.

    The Associated Press couldn’t immediately verify the authenticity of the video. Mangseth said he was “made aware there was a livestream on Facebook” but that he had not yet seen the video and didn’t know anything about its contents.

    The woman in the video says the man she identified as her boyfriend was reaching for his ID and wallet when the officer shot him. Police said in a statement that a handgun was recovered from the scene.

    The officer tells her to keep her hands up and says: “I told him not to reach for it. I told him to get his hand out.”

    “You shot four bullets into him, sir. He was just getting his license and registration, sir,” the woman responds.

    The video goes on to show the woman exiting the car and being handcuffed. A young girl can be seen and is heard saying at one point, “I’m scared, Mommy.”

    The woman describes being put in the back seat of the police car and says, “The police just shot my boyfriend for no apparent reason.”

    Clarence Castile spoke to the Star Tribune from the Hennepin County Medical Center, where he said his nephew died minutes after arriving.

    He said Philando Castile had worked in the J.J. Hill school cafeteria for 12 to 15 years, “cooking for the little kids.” He said his nephew was “a good kid” who grew up in St. Paul.

    The Minnesota Bureau of Criminal Apprehension has been called to investigate, Mangseth said. A spokesman for that agency couldn’t immediately be reached.

    The president of the Minneapolis NAACP, Nekima Levy-Pounds, told the crowd she has no faith in the system in the wake of this and other police shootings of black men, including last year’s killing of Jamar Clark in Minneapolis. Levy-Pounds was a leading voice during the protests outside a police station that followed Clark’s death, as well as during a renewed wave of protests after prosecutors decided not to charge the officers involved.

    “I’m tired of the laws and policies on the books being used to justify murder,” Levy-Pounds, a civil rights attorney, told the crowd as rain began to fall. “This is completely unacceptable. Somebody say, `Enough is Enough.”‘

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