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Thousands nationwide are outraged after a Minnesota police officer fatally shot a man who was sitting in his car in Falcon Heights on Wednesday, July 6, the Star Tribune reports. The aftermath was taped by the man’s girlfriend, who was sitting in the vehicle at the time, and was live-streamed in a shared Facebook video.
According to the site, an officer pulled over the couple, who were with their child, around 9 p.m. for a traffic stop. The black victim, identified as Philando Castile, 32, was shot multiple times as he sat in the passenger seat. He was transported to Hennepin County Medical Center and later died.
Castile’s girlfriend filmed the incident on her phone. As Castile bled beside her, she explained what happened. “[The officer] asked him for license and registration. He told him that it was in his wallet, but he had a pistol on him because he’s licensed to carry,” she said in the video. “The officer said don’t move. As he was putting his hands back up, the officer shot him in the arm four or five times.” (The clip was posted to an account belonging to a woman named Lavish Reynolds, but it has not been confirmed if Reynolds is Castile’s girlfriend.)
In the video, the police officer can be heard in the background speaking to the woman. “I told him not to reach for it,” he said. “I told him to get his hand out.”
Castile had worked at the J.J. Hill school cafeteria for more than a dozen years, the Star Tribune reports. His loved ones joined together at the hospital on Wednesday night, and spoke out about the tragedy.
“[He was] a black individual driving in Falcon Heights who was immediately criminally profiled and he lost his life over it tonight,” Philando’s cousin, Antonio Johnson, 31, said. Additionally, Johnson said that Castile was “very non-confrontational,” “a real upstanding citizen,” and “by the book.” (Castile’s records show that he’d had only misdemeanors and petty misdemeanors in the past.)
The incident sparked outrage from local residents on Wednesday night and into Thursday morning, with demonstrators chanting and honking their car horns at the scene of the shooting and others venting their frustrations on Twitter. Just hours earlier, demonstrators similarly protested after a black man named Alton Sterling was shot and killed by Baton Rouge, Louisiana, police on Tuesday. According to the Associated Press, authorities were responding to a 911 call when they killed Sterling, 37, who was selling homemade CDs and DVDs outside a store.
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