Another day, another police shooting.
This time, it was in Falcon Heights, Minnesota, near Minneapolis.
The victim’s name is Philando Castile, and he was reportedly shot dead after being stopped for having a busted tail light.
In the car with him was his girlfriend (Diamond “Lavish” Reynolds), who live-streamed the shooting on Facebook and her young daughter.
More details + full video below…
**WARNING: The footage is graphic and upsetting. Do not click if you are easily offended.
The camera shows Reynolds speaking, then turns to a her boyfriend (Castile) who is wearing a white t-shirt, covered in blood. There is also a police officer with his gun drawn.
The footage was streamed on a Facebook account under the name Lavish Reynolds.
In the video, Reynolds says that Castile is licensed to carry a firearm and that before the shooting, her boyfriend was trying to get his ID from his wallet in his back pocket.
[Sidebar: The video was apparently 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.]
Someone sent me the 10 minute video an hour after it posted and I couldn’t believe what I saw. Clearly, I wasn’t the only one disturbed by it’s contents because within hours it was shared thousands of times on social media and it was the top story on television and across the web this morning.
Oddly enough, Facebook deleted Reynolds’ recording and subsequently her entire page was removed.
It may have been flagged by users or by Facebook’s computers as being too graphic, however it was restored within a few hours.
“We’re very sorry that the video was temporarily inaccessible. It was down due to a technical glitch and restored as soon as we were able to investigate,” a Facebook spokesperson told VentureBeat and other news outlets.
Now the video is accompanied by a warning that it is graphic.
Clarence Castile, Philando Castile’s uncle, told CNN that the family is devastated. He and Valerie Castile, Philando’s mother, stressed on “New Day” that Philando was law-abiding and a good person, and they expressed bitterness over the actions of the police.
“We all know my nephew was a good kid and we want justice as well as relief,” he said.
The images of his nephew dying were the “most horrific thing I’ve ever seen in my life,” Castile said Thursday morning on CNN’s “New Day.”
“He’s not an officer,” Clarence Castille said. “He’s just a man. An officer is supposed to protect and serve. That was a man who did that. That man is a destroyer and he came into our lives and done something and took something from us.”
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.”
Valerie Castile said “they took a very good person” and wondered whether he was simply “Black in the wrong place.”
“Everybody that knows my son knows that he is a laid back, quiet individual that works hard every day, pays taxes and comes home and plays video games. That’s it,” she said.
“He’s not a gang banger. He’s not a thug. He’s very respectable. And I know he didn’t antagonize that officer in any way to make him feel like his life was threatened.”
The mother said she stressed to her son that if he ever had an encounter with police, he should “comply, comply, comply.” She also disagrees with those who feel that the days of racial profiling are over, stating:
“We’re … hunted every day. It’s a sign of war against African-American people as a whole,” she said.