It’s happening all over again. One day after Louisiana cops shot and killed Alton Sterling in Baton Rouge, a police officer has reportedly killed a black man in Falcon Heights, Minnesota. Shaun King was one of the first to notice the story on Twitter with media reports following. Immediate details from the local Fox 9 station indicate that a St. Anthony officer pulled over a car for what looked like routine traffic stop. The driver, Philando Castile, was then shot in the arm. A woman (Diamond Reynolds) and child were also in the car and were not harmed. Reporter Ted Haller of Minneapolis’ Fox 9 tweeted several photos from the scene with details unfolding along the way.
A press conference after the incident revealed “limited knowledge” from police. However, this story lands with visual documentation in the form of an incredibly graphic and chilling video, which was recorded by Reynolds (Castile’s girlfriend), who says they were pulled over for a busted taillight. The footage picks up after Castile has already been shot, and the officer stands outside the vehicle with the gun still pointed towards Castile. Reynolds states that “police shot him for no apparent reason, no reason at all,” and she says the officer told Castile to hand over his license and registration. He informed the officer that he had a license to carry a firearm (and that he did, in fact, have one in the car). Then Castile told the officer he was reaching for his wallet, and the officer reportedly shot him.
The officer can be heard shouting throughout the Reynolds’ narration. She related that Castile was shot at least three times, and after she exits the vehicle, police cuff her. She’s understood to still be in police custody. Castile was taken by ambulance to the nearest hospital, but he didn’t survive. His mother identified her son (with a photo) to reporter Jennifer Mayerle.
The St. Anthony Police have released a press statement, which confirms that “shots were fired,” and an unidentified man was shot (and later died) after a traffic stop.