“They are not allowed to just kill people like this, Lord,”

by on July 7, 2016 · 20 comments

in Civil Rights

Black lives st Paul screen capt

Screen capture from video shot by Lavish Reynolds of Philando Castile just after being shot by police in St Paul, MN.

Cop Fatally Shoots Black Man in St. Paul –  Victim’s Girlfriend Records Tragic Aftermath

A graphic video shows Philando Castile bleeding in the car while his girlfriend’s young daughter watches.

By Carla Herreria / Huffington Post / July 7, 2016

Police shot and killed a man Wednesday in the St. Paul suburb of Falcon Heights, Minnesota, and his girlfriend recorded the aftermath in a graphic video shot using the Facebook Live feature.

The video shows the man bleeding from gunshot wounds as his girlfriend films from the driver’s seat. The police officer “shot him three times because we had a busted tail light,” the woman filming can be heard saying.

Officials have not officially released the victim’s name, but his family identified him as Philando Castile, local news station WCCO reported. He was taken to Hennepin County Medical Center in Minneapolis and relatives told The Star-Tribune he died at the hospital.

WARNING: This video is extremely graphic

Castile’s mother Valerie told CNN that she rushed to the scene of the shooting and asked to see her son.

“I didn’t want to talk to anyone,” she said. “I just just wanted to know where my son was because I didn’t want him to die alone.”

But authorities told Castile that her son had already been taken to the hospital, and by the time she got there, he was already dead. She said she still hasn’t been able to identify his body.

“They killed my son,” she told the Minneapolis Star Tribune. “They took a good man, a hard-working man.”

The 10-minute video of the incident was posted to Facebook by user Lavish Reynolds, and was removed for several hours Wednesday night before being reposted with a warning about its graphic content.

While filming, the woman explains that the officer asked her boyfriend for his license and registration, and that he told the officer he had a pistol and was licensed to carry.

“He was reaching for his wallet and the officer just shot him in his arm,” she says. “He shot his arm off.”

“Stay with me,” she tells her boyfriend, who is visibly severely wounded.

In the video, the woman describes the police as shooting Castile between three and five times. An officer in the video can be heard saying, “I told him not to reach for it. I told him to get his hand out.” Then, officers can be heard ordering the girlfriend out of her car and seen escorting her into the back seat of a police car.

“He doesn’t have no records or anything,” Castile’s girlfriend can be heard telling the police. “He’s never been in jail, anything. He’s not a gang member, anything.”

A police officer can be seen in the background holding a young girl reported to be the woman’s 4-year-old daughter.

The camera pans to the sky for several minutes as police are heard telling the woman she’s being detained. The screen later goes dark, but the woman can still be heard, praying for her boyfriend’s life.

“They are not allowed to just kill people like this, Lord,” she said. “Please Lord, you know our rights, you know we are innocent people, Lord. We are innocent people.”

The filming briefly cuts out, then returns with the woman’s addressing the camera head-on, telling viewers she’s in the back of the police car. She explains what happened again, and begins to break down crying.

A young girl’s voice is heard telling her, “It’s OK, I’m right here with you.”

The St. Anthony Police Department later confirmed that at least one man was injured during the traffic stop in an officer-involved shooting, according to local FOX affiliate KMSP.

A police spokesperson said during a press conference Wednesday that the shooting is currently under investigation by the Minnesota Bureau of Criminal Apprehension and that no officer was injured during the incident. The officer involved in the shooting was placed on paid administrative leave.

Castile’s death at the hands of police comes just a day after local cops shot another black man, Alton Sterling, in circumstances that shocked the world. Sterling was selling CDs outside a store in Baton Rouge, Louisiana on Tuesday when police, responding to a complaint about a man wielding a gun, tackled him in order to arrest him.

Someone yelled that Sterling had a gun and the police shot him at point-blank range while he was subdued on the ground. The shooting was captured in a graphic video that roiled the public’s conscience. The subsequent release of another video confirmed that Sterling did not have a gun on his person at the time.

Many observers are expressing dismay at the regularity with which police kill unarmed black men in the United States.

 

WARNING: The video below is extremely graphic.

 

 

{ 20 comments… read them below or add one }

John July 7, 2016 at 11:41 am

Is Minnesota law the same as California, where even a licensed gun must be carried in the vehicle visibly unloaded, (like on a seat with the cylinder open) and the ammunition locked in the trunk where you cannot access it readily? Did the officer tell him to keep his hands up and visible and the guy did something other than that?
In almost all of these shootings the story goes like this: Man breaks a law. Police enforcing the law give citizen simple, lawful instructions in plain English. Citizen does something “other”, often in display of defiance, and gets shot. Blame for the incident is implied to be racism.
If the general public is to be concerned with police shootings, they must identify with the incident somehow. Have the notion it could happen to them too.
I don’t drive around with a loaded handgun. Does anyone reading this do that? Why?
If I am stopped by the police, I follow their instructions to the letter. I know this will keep them happy and the event will be over soon with positive results. Does everyone reading this do the same?
If we start focusing on REAL incidents that are clear abuse on citizens that did everything right the way we would do it then maybe police departments would pay attention because they could IDENTIFY with reasonable people voicing valid complaints.
Instead of dismissing all this “He got killed for driving while black with a tail light out” as the noise most of it probably is.
Meanwhile in Fullerton on July 4th an undercover CHP unit killed one teenager and wounded another for the crime of doing burnouts in a private parking lot. I didn’t catch their race, might have been hispanic. That should be in the news.

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cc July 7, 2016 at 1:46 pm

I completely agree with you about someone doing something illegal, or not complying, then wondering why they get shot. The biggest issues with these videos, and this one in particular is that the video starts with a guy bleeding. We didn’t see anything play out other than the aftermath… and people are outraged before even seeing what actually happened. Similar to the Padres national anthem fiasco, people jump to conclusions before even knowing what’s going on.

and god forbid you have an option other than “kill the cops they are murderers,” and if you do, you sure better not express it online.

I’m tired of society, and technology, and the internet… it’s ruining everyone.

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Frank Gormlie Frank Gormlie July 7, 2016 at 2:14 pm

cc – maybe stop and read what you just wrote. Are you so in-compassionate that you haven’t noticed the MAIN ISSUE here? Two black men have been gunned down and killed by white cops in just the last 2 days. There is something rotten here and all you can do is blame it on the victim.

Our society has a sickness – the internet allows us to have immediate coverage of that sickness. The internet is not “ruining everyone” – it’s bringing to light and to millions of viewers horrible racist incidents like this. Black lives do matter and it’s time for this shit to stop.

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cc July 8, 2016 at 9:14 am

My response is just in regards to social media reactions to these events. And when I say the internet is ruining everyone, it is making everyone less compassionate, less tolerable, less patient.

Everyone wants instant satisfaction now, and when they don’t get it they do things that people shouldn’t do. I just think it’s poisoning our minds, not because we can see things we couldn’t see before, but because it’s turning people into mindless robots. People don’t even sit down for dinner with their families anymore, when friends are out at dinner they just stare at their phones.

Obviously this is a tangent, but I think it’s a legit concern.

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Chris July 11, 2016 at 5:12 pm

I think it’s fair to say the internet DOES create a sort of mob mentality on all sides of any issues and people do tend to shoot from the hip more than really thinking about what they post.

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Frank Gormlie Frank Gormlie July 7, 2016 at 2:10 pm

John, I know you – and you’re white. You have completely missed the point here – white cops are gunning down Black people – for no good reason.

I dare you to watch the video. And I dare you to watch it with a dry eye.

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John July 7, 2016 at 10:40 pm

I don’t understand what my race has to do with this story, Frank. However lost in all the rhetoric is the fact that last year in America police shot and killed twice as many whites as blacks.

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Chris July 9, 2016 at 6:59 am

That’s because whites make up the overwhelming majority of the population. If you put it into percentages, a much higher percentage of black citizens are killed by white officers than white citizens are killed by cops of any race. I think you know this. There are black citizens killed by black Officers (Cleveland), hispanics killed by Asian cops. You can spin it any way you want, but the fact is, blacks are disproportionally killed by white cops (and yes cops of other races). Whether or not this cop is racist the fact is he killed a citizen who was not committing a crime. If he is any kind of decent person he should at the very least deem himself unfit to continue in this line of work and willingly accept any consequences.

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Colin Purdy July 7, 2016 at 3:49 pm

With respect, your lump summation of “these videos” is insufficient and, therefore, false, at least with respect to several of these I recall. Walter Scott, I believe, in Charleston, SC, yes, he did defy a police officer, but as the video of his shooting clearly shows, Scott did not confront the officer but ran away and was shot in the back; I can’t recall exactly why he’d been pulled over, but it was something minor, like a tail light, and then the officer runs his license/plate and discovers an outstanding warrant for alimony, I think. Whatever it was, whatever the sequence, the traffic stop/warrant were minor, certainly utterly non-violent. And nor do I recall what we know about Scott’s decision to turn and run, probably his choice instead of being arrested. But, yes, you’re right that in this case, Scott defied the officer, but by running away and no aggressive action or any move at all towards the officer, which I recall is clear from the cellphone video of the young man who captured it all. But the penalty for resisting arrest on at most a misdemeanor warrant (I think), especially only by running away, that is, not attacking the officer, is not execution. I believe the officer was actually charged and convicted for murder. I can offer you my opinion of Sandra Bland’s arrest, as well, unless you want to offer your’s first. Tamir Rice as well, which is slightly tricker, but not all that much in overall context, and certainly not in favor of the officer’s path to Rice’s summary execution. There’s an arrest video of guy in Minneapolis, I think, that is also perfect grist for this mill. I cannot recall of the top of my head his name. And it’s just his arrest, I don’t think he was injured at all, or while in jail, but it’s the nature of his arrest, the context and steps, that are evident in the video and support the claim of this guy that he was arrested for walking with coffee while black, his anger and frustration all the moreso that it wasn’t the first time for him and others he knows of white officers consciously or unconsciously manipulating a context such that they end up following him for no reason, no probable cause, and finally stop him/them. These situations then escalate when the victim dares to question why being stopped at all, at which point the cop simply demands physical subjugation instead of simply answering the question, which, of course, is harder to do because there isn’t a proper answer. That’s basically what happened to Sandra Bland, too, except she didn’t even ask, the cop asked her if she knew why he stopped her, or something, and when he didn’t like her slightly snarky sounding answer, he escalated the situation to the point of a violent arrest; there’s a bit more to the arrest sequence as shown in the video, but it’s the cop’s unjustifiable escalation, not Bland’s. (You’ll recall she was day or so later supposed to have hung herself in her jail cell, an alleged act her friends and family claim utterly contradicts their knowledge of her character.)

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Colin Purdy July 7, 2016 at 3:56 pm

The full sequence of the Sandra Bland cop dash cam video is really worth recounting, if you really want me to, but in my interpretation is completely condemning of the officer’s path. Similarly, the officer who shot Rice, I’ve read at least one other cop pick apart how completely snafu this officer’s procedural context, and how this led him to instantaneously shooting a 12 year old.

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John July 8, 2016 at 12:11 am

Colin, (and Frank) I don’t think that anyone is saying that there aren’t examples of police misconduct and misuse of force, and that those examples do not need serious review.
These examples however are not an epidemic and perhaps (wild guess) amount to one or two out of ten of every shooting of a black, OR white person. It seems to me that nothing productive at all will come from misportrayal of all shootings as unjust or racially motivated.
I cited a statistic above about twice as many whites being killed as blacks. The same Washington Post study found that, IIRC, 9 out of 10 of these “victims”, of both races, were armed with a gun or tried to fight with the officer. Does it make sense to try and associate racism with all of those? Boy who cried wolf much? Will the cops stop shooting blacks or will they just figure damned if we do, damned if we don’t?
I invite anyone to look at the real elephant in the room, the statistics on race on race violent crimes available from the DOJ. Blacks commit violent crimes against whites at an alarming rate, the numbers are so lopsided it defies the notion that blacks are routinely victimized by whites- police or otherwise.
Given all the above there is the further problem of fanning the flames of racism in America. Ingraining in every generation of blacks that every white person is a racist cracker and to blame for every ill you can think of. When a white cop is confronting a black suspect, what motivates that suspects’ disobedience of lawful orders, his defiance of the white authority? It just could be this message you’ve been pounding into his head all these years. Think about that.
Thank you for considering my opinion.

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Colin Purdy July 8, 2016 at 7:01 pm

I’m sorry, John, but I was writing in quite specific terms about individual cases of unjustifiable lethal force or unnecessary arrest or improper procedure, not sweeping generalizations.

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Marc Snelling Marc Snelling July 9, 2016 at 7:40 am

You don’t have to see what came before this video to see that it is highly questionable and disturbing.

“Start focusing on REAL incidents”.. are you serious? Shooting a man to death in front of his girlfriend and 4-year old daughter while he’s sitting in a car with his seatbelt on isn’t serious enough?

Everything in this video indicates the victim was following all instructions and did everything right. A woman posts live video of her boyfriend dying in front of her daughter and you call it “noise”. You re right about not being able to “IDENTIFY”.

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John July 9, 2016 at 8:28 am

“Everything in this video indicates the victim was following all instructions and did everything right.”

That’s sheer speculation. The cop says otherwise.

Identify? Do you drive around with a loaded handgun on your person? Why?
To me this incident has more to do with the gun control issue than racism. If you carry a gun- if everyone carried a gun- we wouldn’t be safer, we would just have a lot more gun deaths. No, I cannot identify with this person or incident because I neither own nor carry a gun.
Carrying a gun did not protect him, his child, or his g/f. It put them in danger. We wouldn’t be having this discussion if he were unarmed. We might still be having it if he were white.

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Marc Snelling Marc Snelling July 11, 2016 at 6:00 pm

What you are saying is sheer speculation. The officer said he thought Philando Castile was a suspect in an armed robbery. Yet they were treating it like a routine traffic stop and offered no details on why they stopped him in the first place. He says he reacted to a gun not race, but offered no details. Specifically they said “I’m going to stop a car. I’m going to check IDs. I have reason to pull it over. The two occupants just look like people that were involved in a robbery. The driver looks more like one of our suspects, just ‘cause of the wide set nose.” All these crazy radicals who say race is a factor must be wrong – like the Governor of MN and the POTUS.

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Jan Michael Sauer July 7, 2016 at 11:17 pm

Many of my fellow hippies have been the victims of police atrocities over the last 50 years. So we come from a place of understanding. It should be a Federal law that all peace officers in the states pass a college course in Understanding and Respecting Civil Rights and Civil Liberties before they are certified. Give existing officers 2 years to study and pass the course and pay them for it. That would be a good start.

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Jason Ford July 11, 2016 at 11:42 am

Watch any of these videos and then put yourself in the officer’s just before the video starts.

https://www.google.com/search?q=police+getting+shot&prmd=vni&source=lnms&tbm=vid

Potentially life threatening situations are a rare occurrence for most people but a daily issue for any officer, so applying your own insulated judgement to a situation you rarely if ever face is not a fair perspective.

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Marc Snelling Marc Snelling July 11, 2016 at 6:16 pm

The vast majority of regular police officers (not SWAT, DEA, etc) go their entire career without discharging their weapons.

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Chris July 11, 2016 at 6:39 pm

True but the risk is still there. After what happened in Dallas i’d be very surprised if things don’t get worse (cops being more quick to draw and pull the trigger). There will be no winners and it wont make a damn bit of difference who’s right or wrong. I hope I’m in fact wrong.

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Marc Snelling Marc Snelling July 12, 2016 at 7:06 am

Yes, and that risk is what gives them the benefit of the doubt in officer-involved shooting cases with judges and juries. Still the risk of being killed or maimed on a freeway is much much higher than in the line of duty. The racial tension, fear, and gun problems in the US are long in the making, regardless of St Paul, Baton Rouge or Dallas.

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