St Paul, MN– Philando Castile, 32, a St. Paul school cafeteria employee, was shot and killed following a traffic stop for a suspected tail light infraction Wednesday night.
The St. Paul man died Wednesday night after being shot by police in Falcon Heights, Minnesota, a suburb of St. Paul. The event was caught on a video that has been seen by over a million viewers.
Castile, who had no criminal history, can be seen in his T-shirt that is soaked in blood. Early reports indicate that Castile told the police officer that he had a conceal and carry permit and was in possession of a weapon. There is no indication at this time that he was reaching for the gun. The New York Times that Castile had “been shot several times, slumping against the woman who was recording the scene. As she did so, her 4-year-old daughter sat in the back seat, and an officer stood just outside the driver’s side window, still aiming his gun at the mortally wounded man at point-blank range.” The women can also be heard saying, “Please, officer, don’t tell me that you just did this to him,” she said. “You shot four bullets into him, sir. He was just getting his license and registration, sir.”
The Gov. of the state, Mark Dayton, has promised a full investigation, however, he waited nearly 13 hours before he made a statement at all. He had spoken with a representative from the White House about a federal investigation. A few hours earlier, Gov. Mark Dayton of Minnesota, who seemed shaken by the video showing Castile, as he died, also pointed to the role of race. “Would this have happened if the driver were white, if the passengers were white?” he asked. “I don’t think it would have.” The Times reports that “Representative Betty McCollum, a Minnesota Democrat, had called for the Justice Department to investigate earlier Thursday.” Critics have called Dayton’s comments unfounded, racist and unfortunate. Bill O’Reilly said such remarks place police officers across the board in grave danger.
President Obama weighed in on the fatal shooting saying, “What’s clear is that these fatal shootings are not isolated incidents,” and that such shootings are “are symptomatic of the broader challenges within our criminal justice system, the racial disparities that appear across the system year after year, and the resulting lack of trust that exists between law enforcement and too many of the communities they serve.”