Woman live-streams aftermath of fatal officer-involved shooting

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Editor’s note: The video is graphic. Viewer discretion advised.
Authorities say that a man is dead after being shot by police Wednesday evening after being pulled over in a traffic stop.

The incident took place in Falcon Heights, Minnesota, near Minneapolis.

The victim’s name is Philando Castile, his mother Valerie told CNN affiliate WCCO.

No one besides Castile was injured in the shooting — which comes amid a national debate in the U.S. on when officers can use lethal force — Sgt. Jon Mangseth, the interim chief of the St. Anthony Police Department, told reporters.

In the car with him were a young girl and an adult woman, who live-streamed the immediate aftermath of the shooting on Facebook.

‘A busted tail light’

“Stay with me,” are the first words heard in her video. “We got pulled over for a busted tail light in the back.”

The camera shows the woman speaking, then turns to a man in a white shirt, covered in blood. Out the window appears to be a police officer with his gun drawn.

The footage was streamed on a Facebook account under the name Lavish Reynolds. WCCO spoke to Castile’s family who identified the woman as Diamond Reynolds.

In the video’s first minute, Reynolds says that Castile is licensed to carry a firearm. She claims that before the shooting, her boyfriend was trying to get his ID from his wallet in his back pocket.

The video appears to be shot with the phone’s front-facing camera, so the perspective is flipped, as letters would be in a mirror. Because of this, the steering wheel appears to be on the wrong side of the car.

‘Devastated’

Clarence Castile, Philando Castile’s uncle, told CNN that the family is devastated.

“We all know my nephew was a good kid and we want justice as well as relief,” he said.

Castile said that Philando worked as a kitchen supervisor for the St. Paul School District. The last time the two of them spoke was in May. They talked about setting up a nest egg for Philando’s eventual retirement.

“My nephew has a (concealed carry) permit, and still got killed for carrying a gun … this needs to stop. This happens so often.”

An ongoing investigation

Mangseth said there were two officers present when the incident occurred — a primary officer responded, who he believes has more than five years of experience, and there was also a backup officer. Having both is standard procedure.

The St. Anthony’s Police Department doesn’t have body cameras, according to the department’s office manager, Kim Brazil.

One officer has been placed on standard paid administrative leave, Mangseth said at a short news conference early Thursday morning.

No police were injured.

Mangseth said he hasn’t seen the video, but he knows about it and that it was live-streamed on Facebook.

The nearly 10-minute video garnered more than 1 million views before it was pulled from Facebook.

It was then re-released on the social media platform with a graphic warning.

The Minnesota Bureau of Criminal Apprehension Assistance, a state-wide criminal investigative agency, was called and is investigating the incident, Mangseth said.

“We will release the information as we learn it, and we will address concerns as we are faced with them,” he said.

Mangseth told reporters that it’s the first officer-involved shooting in the area in more than 30 years.

“It’s shocking,” he said. “It’s not something that occurs in this area often.”

The shooting comes just a day after an officer-involved shooting was filmed by bystanders in Baton Rouge, Louisiana.

37-year-old Alton Sterling died, sparking mourning and outrage across the country.

By early Thursday, protesters had begun to gather outside Minnesota Governor’s Residence.

‘I’m right here’

Reynolds narrates the incident throughout much of the video — alerting her followers and the viewing public to what was happening.

She’s calm and composed at first; a striking juxtaposition to the officers yelling expletives outside the vehicle.

“Please don’t tell me this lord, please, Jesus don’t tell me that he’s gone,” Reynolds pleads with police in a hauntingly calm voice.

“Please don’t tell me that he’s gone. Please officer don’t tell me that you just did this to him.”

She’s then asked to step outside with her hands up. While being ordered to walk backwards toward police, she points the camera at them.

The phone is then thrown on the ground nearby. The camera faces up, and it keeps recording.

Reynolds begins to cry and lose her composure. She’s heard wailing and pleading with officers. Police can also be heard in the background.

And camera keeps pointing up at the sky, before it goes black while the voices continue.

Reynolds eventually gets a hold of the phone again, and says she begins filming from the back seat of a police car with the little girl.

She seems calm again, alerting viewers to her location and asking someone to come pick her up.

“I can’t believe they just did this,” she says.

Then she screams.

“It’s OK,” the little girl says. “I’m right here with you.”

CNN’s Dave Alsup contributed to this report

7 comments

    • LMY

      The cop never said that.. The cop should have had him step out of the vehicle and disarm him after being informed he had a conceal firearm. Instead of telling him to provide license and registration and assuming he was reaching for his firearm – which he knew of. Someone was just trigger happy.

  • Dylan

    Well this time the officer was wrong. He told him license and registration..the dude tells him he is a ccw permit holder…and the guy is trying to cooperate…the officer was wrong…dead wrong. He murdered this man….I usually am always pro police. Not this time

    • Robert

      I agree. Haven’t seen any video of the actual conversation or shooting, but based on this clip and the story she is telling, this bad cop should be put away for life. Looks like a totally unjustified killing.

  • Mel

    This is so F@$!#NG wrong! This man, and he is NO officer , MURDERED this man and in front of his child! Disgusting and our police need to be policed now. Good officers, I plead with you to turn the douche ones in, or this is the result!!! And now all of us CCW holders have to worry when being pulled over cause some IGNORANT cop gets jumpy and will just f-ing shoot us!? I can’t stand this country lately. These people all need to CONTROL THEMSELVES AND GROW UP!!! ESPECIALLY THE DAMN POLICE!!

  • Paul

    All this over a broken tail light? The police need to concentrate on serious crimes and not broken tail lights or wearing a seat belt. The cop should be held accountable for shooting the guy and then just watching him die.

  • Opinion8d

    Amazing how everyone knows what happened -did I miss the whole video?? This is the ‘Aftermath’ of the shooting -not the shooting, not what led to the shooting -just someone video taping after it’s over telling her account to the world. Given how ‘cooperate’ some people are with the police, may have resulted in this. Funny how calm the woman is and how she wasn’t in anyone’s face after the shooting. I’ll wait for the facts to come out but will give the benefit of the doubt to the officer.

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