Philando Castile: Black Minnesota Man Shot Dead After Traffic Stop

“Oh my God. Please don’t tell me he’s dead. Please don’t tell me my boyfriend just went like that.”

Those words were spoken by DiamondReynolds Wednesday night, who had only moments before been riding in a vehicle with her daughter and her boyfriend, Philando Castile, when they were pulled over in the St. Paul, Minn., suburb of Falcon Heights due to a broken tail light.

Though Reynolds did not capture the moment of the shooting, she quickly began recording with her phone after the fact.

The video shows Castile slumped to his side and writhing, his shirt bloody. The officer, gun in hand, can be heard saying that he’d “told him not to reach for it. I told him to get his hand off it.”

According to Reynolds, Castile was in possession of a handgun, which he was legally permitted to carry. After being pulled over and approached by the traffic officer, Reynolds says Castile was asked to retrieve his license and registration.

“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,” Reynolds says in the video. “Please officer, don’t tell me you just did this to him. You shot four bullets into him sir.”

A witness who asked not to be named says she was sitting in a parked car nearby when the incident unfolded: “I just heard the officer say, ‘Put your hands up,’ and before he finished saying that there were four shots.”

Less than 40 minutes after the shooting, Philando Castile died at Hennepin County Medical Center.

The video documenting the events just after the officer fired can be viewed here, however please be aware that it is extremely graphic.

According to friends and family, 32-year-old Philando Castile was a long-time cafeteria employee at a St. Paul public school. Before that, Castile was a straight-A student, having graduated from a local high school with honors. His cousin describes him as a “real upstanding citizen” and “very nonconfrontational.” Castile’s criminal record shows only misdemeanors and petty misdemeanors, according to the Star Tribune.

What happened in Falcon Heights on Wednesday? How did a traffic stop over something as trivial as a broken light result in a man’s death?

During an interview on CNN, Castile’s mother, Valerie Castile, says her son was “just black in the wrong place.” She says that her son has always been taught to cooperate with law enforcement and that he did in this case. She points out that even though her son had done his best to comply with the law by owning a permit to carry his firearm, “he was killed by the law.”

Philando Castile’s mother has a point. His death comes less than two days after the death of Baton Rogue, La., man Alton Sterling — a black man whose final moments of life were filmed by a bystander looking on as cops pinned him down before shooting him to death.

Minneapolis and St. Paul, in particular, have developed a reputation for controversial police shootings involving black men. Last November, Jamar Clark was killed despite being unarmed; the officers involved were later cleared of all charges.

In the same month, another black man, Michael Kirvelay, 45, was shot to death by officers after failing to put down his BB gun. Despite clear indications of severe mental instability, the officers on scene resolved to use deadly force; none were charged.

It is unclear whether the officer who shot Castile will face any charges. According to police officials, he has been placed on administrative leave as the state’s investigation agency examines the circumstances of the shooting.

If you believe Philando Castile was murdered and that the officer behind his death should be brought to justice, please sign our petition.

Photo Credit: Philando Castile tribute page / Facebook

121 comments

Jack Y
Jack Y2 months ago

thanks

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Jack Y
Jack Y2 months ago

thanks

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John J
John J2 months ago

thanks for sharing

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John J
John J2 months ago

thanks for sharing

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One Heart i
One Heart incabout a year ago

Thanks!!!

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Peggy B
Peggy Babout a year ago

Noted

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Emma S.
Emma S.about a year ago

These blogs and articles are fully good enough for me. national background check

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Siyus Copetallus
Siyus Copetallus2 years ago

Thank you for sharing.

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Neville B.
Neville B2 years ago

Dear Rachel L., thanks for the link:

"Here's a similar petition - this one re: Dylan Noble's killing on June 25: https://www.change.org/p/fpd-fresno-police-dept-both-officers-to-reveal-their-body-cam-footage-in-the-event-of-shooting-dylan-noble
He was unarmed and bystander video appears to show him laying on the ground with arms raised before being shot."

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Quanta Kiran
Quanta Kiran2 years ago

When will this senseless killings stop?

@Will Rogers. If blacks start shooting back, then cops will be vindicated in their use of excessive force.

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