[UPDATE: Actually, Philando was the driver. At 9 seconds into the video below, you can see the steering wheel in front of him. The video is flipped.]
This does not look good. Without knowing more about the context, it’s impossible to tell what exactly happened, but by this woman’s account, a cop shot her boyfriend “for no apparent reason.”
According to the woman, they were pulled over for a “busted tail light.” When the cop had asked for their licenses and registration, the woman’s boyfriend – identified as Philando Castile – informed the cop that he had a pistol on him, and that he was licensed to carry it.
As he was reaching for his license, the cop freaked out, and ordered Castile to keep his hands up. Castile complied, but the officer shot him anyway “four or five times,” according to the woman. The couple’s young daughter was sitting in the back seat when it happened. No one else was injured.
It was right after Castile was shot that the woman got her phone and started recording. She live-streamed the video to Facebook:
This took place in Falcon Heights, Minnesota – a St. Paul suburb. An officer with the St. Anthony Police Department had pulled them over.
Philando Castile was 32 years old and worked as a cafeteria supervisor at a Montessori school, where he “cook[ed] for the little kids” for over 12 years, according to his uncle Clarence. He had no criminal record, except for a few misdemeanors related to driving.
Philando’s cousin weighed in, pointing out that Falcon Heights is a largely middle-class neighborhood. He claimed that Philando “was immediately criminally profiled, and he lost his life over it tonight.”
Hopefully, the police department has dash cam footage showing the entire incident. Without that, all we have is the aftermath.
But it wouldn’t be surprising to find out that the officer overreacted. If Castile did in fact inform the cop that he was carrying, and that he had a permit, then it was out of concern for his own as well as the cop’s safety.
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