The shooting of a black man Wednesday night by a police officer in the Twin Cities became a social media sensation when the immediate aftermath was live-streamed on Facebook by the victim’s girlfriend as he died beside her.
The shooting happened at about 9 p.m. in Falcon Heights, north of St. Paul, when police stopped a car driven by Philando Castile, 32, for a broken taillight, reports the St. Paul Pioneer Press. Castile was shot four times as he reached for identification after telling the officer, who was not identified, that he had a gun in the car. Moments after the shooting, Castile’s girlfriend, Lavish Reynolds, used her cell phone to began live-streaming video on Facebook , calmly narrating as the moaning Castile lay dying beside her. “Please, officer, don’t tell me that you just did this to him,” she says. “You shot four bullets into him, sir. He was just getting his license and registration, sir.”
In the background, an agitated officer shouted, “I told him not to reach for it! I told him to get his hand out!” The shooting occurred on the same day the U.S. Justice Department opened a civil rights investigation into Tuesday’s caught-on-video fatal shooting of a black man by Baton Rouge, La., police. The extraordinary St. Paul video, nearly 10 minutes long, also featured Reynolds’ young daughter, who tried to reassure her mother from the back seat. “It’s O.K., Mommy,” the girl says. “I’m right here with you.”