Philando Castile was killed by police in Falcon, Minnesota
Just one day after the fatal shooting of Alton Sterling in Louisiana, US police have now shot dead yet another black man in Minnesota.
Philando Castile, who was shot four times by a cop while in his car, was declared dead yesterday evening. News of the incident went viral after his girlfriend, Lavish Reynolds, filmed the immediate aftermath and posted it on Facebook Live.
The distressing footage – which can be seen here (WARNING GRAPHIC CONTENT) – shows Reynolds calmly explaining the details of the incident to viewers. According to her, Castile’s car had been pulled over by police officers for having a broken tail light. One of the cops then allegedly asked for Castile’s license, before proceeding to shoot him four times as he was reaching for it. Throughout the video, Reynolds moves the camera over to Castile, who is covered in blood and clearly losing consciousness.
“Oh my God, please don’t tell me he’s dead,” she goes on to say. “Please don’t tell me my boyfriend just went like that.”
32-year-old Castile, who was a school cafeteria supervisor in St Paul, was reportedly licensed to carry a weapon, and confirmed that he had a firearm as he reached for his ID and wallet. In the footage, Reynolds claims that the cop reacted to this move by shooting “his arm off”.
“I told him not to reach for it!' the officer screams, in clear distress. “I told him to get his hand open.”
“Please don't tell me this Lord, please Jesus don't tell me that he's gone,” Reynolds responds. “Please, officer don't tell me that you just did this to him. You shot four bullets into him, sir. He was just getting his licence and registration, sir.”
Around that point, the live-stream cuts out. It then returns a few minutes later with Reynolds sitting in the back of a patrol car with her four-year-old daughter, who apparently witnessed the entire incident. “It’s OK, mommy,” she says to a crying Reynolds. “It’s OK, I’m right here with you.”
In an official police statement made in the early hours of this morning, St Anthony Police Department confirmed some of the details. “On 07-06-2016 at approximately 2100 hours, a St. Anthony Police Officer effected a traffic stop on Larpenteur and Fry in the City of Falcon Heights, Minnesota,” said a spokesperson. “During the stop, shots were fired. One adult male was taken to the hospital. We have been informed that this individual is deceased.
“No one else was injured and the BCA has been called in to investigate the officer involved in the shooting,” he continued. “A handgun was recovered from the scene. The BCA will provide additional information as their investigation progresses.”