Second Police Shooting in 48 Hours Sparks Protests After Woman Posts Video of Fatally Wounded Boyfriend on Facebook Live
Protests erupted in Minnesota on Wednesday after a man was fatally shot by police during a traffic stop, in front of his girlfriend and a child, in an incident that was streamed on Facebook Live.
Hundreds gathered outside the governor’s mansion in outrage after 32-year-old Philando Castile was shot in Falcon Heights, a suburb outside St. Paul. The protest continued into Thursday morning with crowds chanting and demanding action from Gov. Mark Dayton, NBC News reports.
Police are investigating a widely-shared Facebook video, believed to show the aftermath of the incident. The nearly 10-minute video showed a woman, Diamond Reynolds, in a car with a man wearing a blood-soaked shirt.
“We got pulled over for a busted tail light in the back and the police just – he’s covered. They killed my boyfriend,” the woman said in the video.
“He’s licensed to carry. He was trying to get out his ID and his wallet out his pocket and he let the officer know that he had a firearm and he was reaching for his wallet and the officer just shot him in his arm.”
Police and the Minnesota Bureau of Criminal Apprehension are investigating the shooting, the Associated Press reports.
Family members who gathered at the scene of the shooting identified the man as Castile, a cafeteria supervisor at a Montessori school, according to the AP.
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Jon Mangseth, interim chief at the St. Anthony Police Department, confirmed during a news conference that a man died in a police shooting, noting that the traffic stop was conducted at around 9 p.m. in the St. Paul suburb. He did not name Castile.
“During the stop shots were fired. One adult male was taken to the hospital. We have been informed that this individual is deceased,” Mangseth said.
He said he did not have details about the reason for the traffic stop or the circumstances surrounding the shooting. The officer involved has been placed on paid administrative leave, he said.
In the video, an officer is seen pointing a gun into the vehicle and is heard yelling, “I told him not to reach for it! I told him to get his hand off of it!”
The woman responded: “You told him to get his ID, sir, and his driver’s license.”
“Oh my God, please don’t tell me he’s dead. Please don’t tell me my boyfriend went like that,” the woman said in the video.
Soon, the woman was ordered out of the car and placed in the back of a cop car. A girl, who the woman identified as her daughter, is soon heard comforting the woman.
“It’s okay, mommy,” she said. “It’s okay. I’m right here with you.”
During a Thursday CNN appearance, Castile’s mother, Valerie, said she had not watched the disturbing video, but thanked Reynolds for live-streaming the incident.
“I appreciate Diamond streaming that video live because we never would know exactly what happened had she not put that out there like that,” she said. “And then for [the officer] to blatantly shoot into that vehicle with that child in there, and that female. I know for a fact my son would never jeopardize his fiancée and the child by doing anything to provoke this officer to think that his life was in danger.”
The incident is the second officer-involved shooting this week. On Tuesday, Alton Sterling, 37, was fatally shot by police outside a convenience store in Baton Rouge, Louisiana, in an incident captured on cellphone video.