In a live-stream video, the girlfriend of Philando Castile, who was killed at a traffic stop, detailed the incident and showed what followed.
UPDATE: 5:37 p.m. ET July 7, 2016
At a press conference in St. Paul on Thursday afternoon, Minnesota Gov. Mark Dayton said he thinks Philando Castile would be alive if he were white.
“Would this have happened if the driver and the passengers had been white?” Dayton asked. “I don’t think so.” He also said the police response during the traffic stop was “way over” what was called for.
“No one should be shot in Minnesota for a taillight being out of function. No one should be killed in Minnesota while seated in their car,” he said.
In a written statement Thursday morning the governor said that he contacted the White House to urge the U.S. Department of Justice to begin an independent federal investigation into the death of Castile.
Diamond “Lavish” Reynolds, the girlfriend of Philando Castile, a Black man shot and killed on Wednesday in Minnesota by a police officer during a traffic stop, used her cellphone to tell her version of the incident, while Castile sat bleeding to death in the driver’s seat beside her.
Similar to the police-related death of Alton Sterling in Baton Rouge, Louisiana, which just happened on Tuesday, the video captured a chilling perspective of the scene.
Castile, 32, was identified as the man killed by a St. Anthony Police Department officer in Falcon Heights, Minnesota, a suburb of St. Paul. The police department, which is contracted by Falcon Heights, issued a press release Wednesday stating that at 9 p.m. an adult male was pulled over by an officer on Larpenteur and Fry, shots were fired, and a handgun recovered. The adult male was taken to the hospital where he died.
Castile’s mother, Valerie, confirmed he died at Hennepin County Medical Center after 11 p.m.
“He lived by the law and died by the law,” Castile said to WCCO.
On Thursday morning, St. Anthony Police interim police chief Jon Mangseth said two officers were present at the scene Wednesday night and the primary responding officer has been placed on standard paid administrative leave. He also said the Minnesota Bureau of Criminal Apprehension has taken over the investigation.
Reynolds actually live-streamed the aftermath of the shooting on Facebook Live for almost 10 minutes. She was in the passenger seat and their 4-year-old daughter, in the backseat of the vehicle. The video seems to be shot from the cellphone’s front-facing camera, therefore it appears as if Reynolds is in the driver’s seat.
She calmly claims in the video that a police officer pulled over Castile for a broken taillight and he was shot four times. Reynolds also said that her boyfriend told the officer he was carrying a firearm, with a permit. And, as he was reaching for his wallet to get his identification the cop began shooting.
As Reynolds continues to document the incident, you can see Castile’s bloody torso and hear him writhing in pain. The officer remains standing at the driver’s side window with his weapon pointed at his victim.
The officer screams, “I told him not to reach for it. I told him to get his hands up.”
“Oh, my God, please don’t tell me he’s dead,” Reynolds said. “Please don’t tell me my boyfriend went out like that.”
The officer, while still pointing the gun, then says, “Keep your hands where they are.”
Additional officers then arrive on the scene and tell Reynolds to exit the car, and then get on her knees. You can hear their daughter screaming in the background
An officer said, “You are being detained right now until we get this all sorted out.”
Reynolds then says, “They threw my phone, Facebook.”
Toward the end, Reynolds, who is handcuffed in the back of a police car, is distraught. Her daughter tries to comfort her, “It’s OK, mommy. It’s OK, I’m right here with you. ”
View the video (WARNING: It contains graphic content.):
A Facebook spokesperson told the Star Tribune the video was temporarily down due to a technical glitch and was restored to Reynolds’ page as soon as the company was able to investigate.
Castile’s family and friends held a prayer circle outside Hennepin County Medical Center about 2 a.m. Thursday. At 3 a.m., approximately 200 people protesting the fatal shooting of Castile gathered outside the Minnesota Governor’s Residence in St. Paul.
“No justice, no sleep,” they chanted. “Mark Dayton, do you care?”
Clarence Castile, an uncle of the deceased, said Philando left his home about two hours before the shooting occurred. He said he worked at J.J. Hill school cafeteria in St. Paul for 12 to 15 years.
“My nephew has a (concealed carry) permit, and still got killed for carrying a gun … this needs to stop. This happens so often,” Castile said in an interview on CNN.
Castile’s mother, also interviewed, said, “Everybody that knows my son knows that he is a laid back, quiet individual that works hard every day, pays taxes and comes home and plays video games. That’s it,” she said. “He’s not a gang banger. He’s not a thug. He’s very respectable. And I know he didn’t antagonize that officer in any way to make him feel like his life was threatened.”
His mother said she has always told her son to “comply, comply, comply,” with police officers.
Over the past year and a half, traffic stops have resulted in the deaths of Black men including Walter Scott and Samuel DuBose, which were also caught on video.
On April 4, 2015, Scott was pulled over in North Charleston, S.C. by then Police Officer Michael Slager for having a broken taillight. A bystander recorded video footage, which shows Scott fleeing before Slager draws his weapon. He fired eight shots, hitting the unarmed 50-year-old with several bullets. Scott died at the scene.
University of Cincinnati Police Officer Ray Tensing stopped DuBose, an unarmed Black man, off campus on July 19, 2015 because his front license plate was missing. The encounter ended with DuBose being shot in the head. He died at the scene. The university will pay $4.85 million to the family of DuBose.
As the video of the aftermath of Castile’s death circulated social media, so did the hashtag #PhilandoCastile.
A video clip was tweeted of Reynolds speaking out on Thursday morning:
— Melissa Colorado (@melissacolorado) July 7, 2016
Others tweeted their thoughts on the incident:
— Michael Garcia (@DrMichaelGarcia) July 7, 2016
WTF! I went to school with #PhilandoCastile & remember him as a great guy. Another senseless murder by our “protectors.” How does this stop?
— DJ Skee (@djskee) July 7, 2016
This ache is all too familiar. This trauma all too real. #PhilandoCastile
— Capt. Jake Ballard (@kidnoble) July 7, 2016