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Jul 07 2016

BREAKING: Woman Live-streams Aftermath of Fatal Police Shooting

Falcon Heights, MN – 32 year old Philando Castile is dead after being pulled over for a broken taillight late Wednesday night. He was reportedly shot after he told the officer he was a legal concealed carry permit holder, and the officer asked him for his license. He alerted the officer that his license was in his wallet and was shot. His girlfriend, Diamond Reynolds, and her 4-year-old daughter were also in the car. Reynolds live-streamed the event to Facebook as it was unfolding.

The video is graphic and heartbreaking.

The video, shot with Reynold’s front-facing camera, opens with her explaining the situation before panning to her boyfriend, who is covered in blood. “Stay with me,” Reynolds tells her boyfriend, before directly addressing the camera. “We got pulled over for a busted tail light in the back and he’s covered… They killed my boyfriend. 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. We’re waiting for—” The officer interrupts her to tell her to keep her hands still and she complies. The officer yells, “fuck!” with his gun still drawn.

“I told him not to reach for it!” the officer yells, sounding panicked. “I told him to get his hand up!”

“He had, you told him to get his ID, sir, his driver’s license,” Reynolds responds. “Oh my God, please don’t tell me he’s dead…. Please, don’t tell me that he’s gone. Please, 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. He was just getting his license and registration, sir.”

Another officer then removes Reynolds from the car at gunpoint. She is told to get on her knees, and an officer reportedly throws her phone to the side as Reynolds is handcuffed. Another officer can be seen in the background, holding her daughter.

Though the camera is no longer pointed at her, Reynolds can be heard, pleading in the back of a police car. “Please, don’t tell me my boyfriend’s gone. He don’t deserve this, please. He works for St. Paul Public Schools. He’s never been in jail, anything. He’s not a gang member, anything.” Indeed, to have a concealed carry permit in Minnesota, one must have a clean record.

Philando Castile was, indeed, a cafeteria supervisor at J.J. Hill Montessori School in St. Paul. Family reports he had worked there for 12 to 15 years.

The officer and his backup were not wearing body cameras, as it is not standard procedure. Sgt. Jon Mangseth, the interim chief of the St. Anthony Police Department, told reporters that one of the officers involved has been placed on paid administrative leave. The Minnesota Bureau of Criminal Apprehension Assistance is investigating the incident. Protestors have also been gathering at the sight since the video went viral.

When Reynolds is given back her phone, she continues her account of the events and gives her location so that she can be picked up. “I’m in the backseat of a police car, in handcuffs. I need a ride…” She comforts her daughter and then screams in grief. As Reynolds breaks down into tears, her daughter says, “It’s okay, I’m right here with you.”

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