Philando Castile, age 32, was shot by the police during a traffic stop in Falcon Heights, Minnesota, late Wednesday night, a fatal encounter whose gut-wrenching aftermath was broadcast on Facebook Live by the man’s girlfriend.
An officer stopped Diamond Reynolds and Castile for driving with a broken taillight, Reynolds says in the video. The officer asked Castile for identification, at which point, according to her video account, he told the officer that he had a gun and a license to carry it, and that he was going to reach for his ID. Reynolds says the officer then told Castile not to move, and as Castile raised his hands back in the air, she says, the officer shot him four or five times in the arm. “He just shot his arm off,” she says, horrified.
Reynolds’ four-year-old daughter was also in the car at the time of the traffic stop, according to local TV news reporter Boau Xiong, who was at the scene.
The killing comes a day after a video of the fatal police shooting of Alston Sterling sparked outrage and protests in Baton Rogue, Louisiana.
The Facebook Live video, approximately 10 minutes long, begins with Castile in the driver’s seat. His shirt sleeve is soaked in blood. Reynolds is in the passenger seat. [The video is below. WARNING: It is graphic and disturbing.]
“He’s licensed to carry,” Reynolds says. “He was trying to get his ID and his wallet out his pocket, and he let the officer know that he had a firearm and was reaching for his wallet, and the officer just shot him in his arm.” The officer, who appears on camera and can be seen still pointing his gun at the car, sounds very distraught throughout the video, alternating between sobs and loud swearing.
In another part of the video, Reynolds has been removed from the car. “He don’t deserve this,” she pleads. “He’s a good man. He works for St. Paul Public Schools. He doesn’t have no record of anything. He never been to jail—anything. He’s not a gang member—anything.” Reynolds can also be heard praying. “Please don’t tell me my boyfriend just went like that. Please, Jesus, don’t tell me this, Lord.”
Reynolds later broadcasts while handcuffed in the back of a police car. As she cries, her four-year-old daughter is heard comforting her. “It’s okay, Mommy, I’m right here with you,” the girl says.
Castile was taken to the hospital, where he died.
WARNING: Graphic video