Woman Live-Streams Boyfriend’s Tragic Gunshot Injury After Police Shooting
By Jason Papallo, NCCJ E-Communications & Marketing Specialist
Another black man, in a growing line of dead by gunshot at the hands of police, has lost his life. The shooting of Philando Castile happened on Wednesday after a traffic stop for a taillight violation in Falcon Heights, Minnesota, outside of Minneapolis. The shooting occurred only a day after witnesses filmed the shooting of Alton Sterling in Baton Rouge, Louisiana, who also died as a result.
Castile’s girlfriend Diamond Reynolds narrated the incident as she live-streamed the aftermath of the shooting on Facebook. The 10-minute video got over 1 million views before getting taken down by Facebook, and later re-released with a content warning.
"We got pulled over for a busted tail light in the back," she said as Castile bled through his white shirt with a police officer pointing a gun at him.
Reynolds identifies that Castile had a firearm with a license to carry, and that after Castile explained that to the officer, he was asked for identification. Upon reaching towards his back pocket to get his identification out of his wallet, the officer shot him several times in the arm.
"Please don't tell me this lord, please, Jesus don't tell me that he's gone," said Reynolds.
"Please don't tell me that he's gone. Please officer don't tell me that you just did this to him," she continues.
After being detained, Reynolds films from the police car’s backseat with her four-year-old daughter. She was also in the car during the shooting.
"I can't believe they just did this," said Reynolds before breaking into a scream.
"It's okay. I'm right here with you," her daughter assured her.
No one besides Castile was injured during the shooting.
Since the incident, one of the officers involved has been placed on paid administrative leave, said Sgt. Jon Mangseth, the interim chief of the St. Anthony Police Department, during a Thursday morning news conference.
"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. 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," said Castile's mother Valerie on Thursday morning’s "New Day" on CNN.
“We are being hunted,” she said. "It's a sign of war against African-American people as a whole."
Mangseth said that the state-wide criminal investigative agency The Minnesota Bureau of Criminal Apprehension Assistance is now investigating the shooting.
Protesters are currently outside of Minnesota Governor Mark Dayton’s mansion, although he was evacuated when people started gathering outside of his home.
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