A Man Was Shot And Killed By Minnesota Police During A Traffic Stop With His Child In The Backseat. | Gradient
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A man was shot and killed by Minnesota police during a traffic stop while his girlfriend filmed it.

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Just a day after the Alton Sterling shooting, in an uncannily similar instance of police violence, a black man was shot and killed by a Minnesota police officer during a traffic stop. The man, Philando Castile, was driving in Falcon Heights, Minnesota, just ten minutes from Minneapolis/St. Paul, before the deadly altercation. Lavish Reynolds, Castile’s girlfriend, captured the aftermath in an extremely graphic Facebook Live video that documented his blood-stained shirt, his daughter’s crushing reaction, and her own response to the slain father’s swift fade from consciousness.

(We’re not going to post the damned video here.)

According to Reynolds, Castile possessed a gun he legally owned, and thus, was trying to inform the officer of his pistol and show his driver’s license and registration. Reynolds tells viewers that when the officer asked him to raise his hands in the air, Castile complied up until the officer “shot him four times in the arm.” Reynolds details her experience with the officer and her fears for her boyfriend’s rapidly declining health while the officer, in view of the camera, keeps his gun pointed at Reynolds with a finger on the trigger. Reynolds, remarkably brave and calm throughout most of the recording, eventually shouted “Please don’t tell me he’s dead! Please don’t tell me my boyfriend just went like that.” 

Valerie Castile told a local news outlet that her son would have turned 33 on Friday. Local outlets reported that he worked as a school cafeteria supervisor. Meanwhile, Alton Sterling’s blood is still warm, and still wet. 

[Correction: Early reports implied that the child in the backseat was Sterling’s daughter. It appears the child is actually Reynolds’ daughter, whom Sterling “raised as his own.” Our headline has been amended to reflect this.]

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