Many people woke this morning to the shocking news that another Black man has been gunned down by police. This time the incident happened in Falcon Heights, Minnesota, and the victim has been identified as Philando Castile. He was riding in a car with his girlfriend Lavish Reynolds and her young daughter when they were stopped by police for a broken taillight.
Reynolds claims that the officer demanded to see Castile’s identification even though he was in the passenger’s seat. Castile allegedly told the officer that he did have a firearm and he was licensed; however, when he reached for his wallet, he was shot multiple times. A gruesome video shows Castile covered in blood and moaning as his girlfriend live streamed the encounter on Facebook. Her daughter is heard in the background screaming as the officer points his gun at the car. Soon, Castile slumps over and loses consciousness as the officer exclaims, “I told him not to reach for it. I told him to get his hand off it.” To which Reynolds states on camera, “No, sir, you told him to get his wallet.”
Other officers soon arrive on the scene and handcuff Reynolds and take her young daughter into custody. She was later questioned by police and released. Later, she found out that her boyfriend had died from his injuries. The officer involved in the shooting has not yet been identified and has been placed on administrative leave while the shooting is being investigated. When the video was posted to Lavish Reynolds’ Facebook account, it garnered immediate reactions of grief, disgust and anger. The video has been shared over 10,000 times and was initially removed from Facebook and has now been reposted. Reynolds has asked that people share the video to bring attention to the senseless death of her boyfriend and the actions of the police.
This is the second high-profile killing that has come to the attention of the nation this week. Earlier in the week, Alton Sterling, 35, was shot and killed by Baton Rouge, Louisiana, police in an incident also caught on video.