Black Driver Shot 'for No Reason' During Traffic Stop

Minnesota man's girlfriend says he was reaching for wallet
By Rob Quinn,  Newser Staff
Posted Jul 7, 2016 1:44 AM CDT
Updated Jul 7, 2016 6:06 AM CDT

A black driver pulled over for a broken tail light was fatally shot by police "for no apparent reason, for no reason at all," his distraught girlfriend says in a graphic video showing the aftermath of the shooting. In the video, Diamond Reynolds says Philando Castile, who can be seen slumped in his seat covered in blood, was shot by police during the traffic stop in Falcon Heights in suburban St. Paul, Minn., WCCO reports. She says that as Castile reached for his license, he told a police officer that he had a firearm, which he had a permit for, but the officer shot him four times in the arm anyway. In the video, the officer can be seen still pointing his weapon into the vehicle. "I told him not to reach for it," the officer says. "I told him to get his hand off it." Relatives say Castile, 32, died within minutes of being taken to Hennepin County Medical Center on Wednesday night.

"Please don't tell me my boyfriend's gone," Reynolds pleads in the video, in which she is ordered from the vehicle and ends up in a squad car with her 4-year-old daughter. "He don’t deserve this, please. He works for St. Paul Public Schools. He's never been in jail, anything. He's not a gang member, anything." At the hospital, grieving family members described Castile, a cafeteria supervisor at JJ Hill Montessori School in St. Paul, as a "hard-working man" and an "upstanding citizen" who was "very nonconfrontational," the Star Tribune reports. He was "a black individual driving in Falcon Heights who was immediately criminally profiled and he lost his life over it tonight," cousin Antonio Johnson says. Police say the Minnesota Bureau of Criminal Apprehension has been called in to investigate. (The shooting came just a day after a police shooting in Baton Rouge was caught on video.)

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