#FalconHeights: Philando Castile shot dead by police on camera “for no reason at all”

Philando Castile (credit: Castile Family)

Philando Castile, 32, was shot dead tonight after being pulled over by a Minneapolis cop for a busted tail light. His girlfriend, Lavish Reynolds, captured the aftermath of the shooting via Facebook Live video. She says he was shot while reaching for his wallet to produce identification.

Her daughter, 4, is reported to have been seated in the back seat of the vehicle when the police officer shot into it, striking Castile in the arm. The victim died of his injuries within hours at Hennepin County Medical Center nearby.

In a video posted on Facebook, Ms. Reynolds says “police shot him for no apparent reason, no reason at all.”

The video has since been removed from view by Facebook.

In the Facebook Live video, Lavish Reynolds prays aloud for Castile's life to be spared. Castile is “licensed to carry” and was “trying to get out his ID” and “he let the officer know he had a firearm, she says. “He was reaching for his wallet, and the officer just shot him. … He just shot his arm off.”

Philando Castile, Facebook

Philando Castile, Facebook

From the Minneapolis Star-Tribune:

The woman started the video with the man slumped next to her, his white T-shirt soaked with blood.. In the video, taken with her phone, she says they were pulled over at Larpenteur Avenue and Fry Street for a broken taillight.

The officer “asked him for license and registration,” she says. “He told him that it was in his wallet, but he had a pistol on him because he’s licensed to carry. The officer said don’t move. As he was putting his hands back up, the officer shot him in the arm four or five times.”

The video shows a uniformed police officer holding a pistol on the couple from outside the car. The officer can be heard to say, “I told him not to reach for it. I told him to get his hand out.”

The woman says in the video that her boyfriend was shot by a Roseville police officer; in the video, several cities’ squad cars are visible but it wasn’t possible tell which cities they were from.

“Please don’t tell me my boyfriend’s gone,” Reynolds says in the video. ”He don’t deserve this, please. He works for St. Paul Public Schools. He’s never been in jail, anything. He’s not a gang member, anything.”

Valerie Castile, the victim's mother, told reporters that her son was a cafeteria supervisor at J.J. Hill Montessori School in St. Paul, Minnesota.

Screengrab from the video of Philando Castile's murder by a police officer.

Screengrab from the video of Philando Castile's murder by a police officer.

An observer, Katherine Bleth, who lives across the street, told reporters she was driving home with a friend when she saw the crime scene “right in front of me.” “Cop cars were rushing past us, we knew something was wrong,” she said.

Her video of the scene is below.

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