The footage is disturbing and you can hear the cop speaking in a panic after the shooting. Do you think there is more to this story? Did the driver not listen to the cop’s orders?
The devastated mother of a black man who was shot dead by a cop and whose death was live-streamed on Facebook by his girlfriend says she was prevented from seeing him on his deathbed.
Valerie Castile, mother of Philando Castile, 32, who was shot in Falcon Heights, Saint Paul, Minnesota on Wednesday night, also claimed they have been unable to locate Lavish Reynolds, his girlfriend, since she was arrested by police.
The shocking footage of the aftermath of the shooting has sparked protests in Saint Paul, with hundreds of people descending on the Governor of Minnesota’s house demanding justice. It is the second controversial police shooting of a black man to emerge in 24 hours.
In the video, Reynolds tells viewers that she and Castile were pulled over for a busted tail light by a ‘Chinese police officer’.
She claims the cop, from the St. Anthony Police Department in Falcon Heights, asked Castile, a cafeteria supervisor at a Montessori school in St Paul, to show his license, but then shot him four times while he reached for it.
As she talks, she moves the camera across to show Castile, bloody and losing consciousness, and the cop – still pointing his gun, as her young daughter sits in the back seat.
The police officer, who is yet to be identified, been placed on paid leave.
A crowd of around 200 protesters turned up outside Governor Mark Dayton’s residence in Saint Paul at 3am demanding for him to ‘wake up’ and speak to them. They shouted ‘no justice, no peace’ and video shows them chanting Castile’s name over and over in a moving show of unity.
A man outside the Governor’s house said on Twitter: ‘We’re protesting at the governor’s mansion. The police sent two delegates to make peace. They brought their guns.’
Governor Dayton was reportedly evacuated from the mansion. He has also porsponed a press conference he was due to give on water quality today.
The protesters earlier formed at the scene where Castile was shot. The crowd was heard chanting ‘we will stand our ground. We will not move’ as an officer tried to clear the area, KARE-TV reported. Crowds also gathered outside the hospital where Castile died.
In the shocking video, Castile is at first still conscious and intermittently swearing, while his head lolls around. The officer keeps his gun trained on the man.
Reynolds says to her Facebook viewers that Castile, who had minor offences on his criminal record, was licensed to carry a weapon and told the officer he had a firearm as he reached for his wallet and ID.
‘And the officer just shot him in his arm,’ she says.
‘Ma’am, keep your hands where they are,’ the cop says, sounding panicked. He then appears to shout ‘F***!’
‘He just shot his arm off,’ says Reynolds, maintaining her calm.
‘I told him not to reach for it!’ the cop screams, sounding close to tears. ‘I told him to get his hand open.’
‘You told him to get his ID, sir, you told him to get his driver’s license,’ she says. And suddenly the reality seems to hit her, as Castile appears to stop moving.
‘Oh god, don’t tell me he’s dead,’ she says. ‘Please don’t tell me my boyfriend just went like that… please don’t tell me that he’s gone.’
The cop tells her to keep her hands ‘where they are, please’ and she agrees, but then goes back to chanting about her boyfriend’s possible death. ‘Please don’t tell me this Lord, please Jesus don’t tell me that he’s gone.’
‘Please officer don’t tell me that you just did this to him. You shot four bullets into him, sir,’ she says, her voice finally beginning to crack with emotion. ‘He was just getting his licence and registration, sir.’
At that moment, other officers are heard telling Reynolds to exit the car and walk backwards towards her. She asks if they have her daughter. In the distance a girl can be heard crying.
They tell her to get on her knees while they cuff her – ‘Ma’am you’re just being detained right now until we just get this all sorted out, okay?’ says one of the new officers.
‘They threw my phone, Facebook,’ Reynolds says, before finally breaking down as another siren – possibly an ambulance – is heard. ‘Please no,’ she wails, ‘Please don’t let him be gone.’
At this point in Reynolds’s video, a man who sounds like the first officer can be heard shouting ‘F***’ at several points afterward, and Reynolds is heard in the distance telling cops how the cop ‘started shooting.’
She then begins wailing about how Castile is a ‘good man’ who ‘works for St Paul Public Schools… He’s never been in jail, anything. He’s not a gang member, anything.’