Video of officers shooting man pinned down sparks outrage
US civil rights leaders are up in arms again, after two policemen shot and killed a black man in Baton Rouge, Louisiana. The victim’s family says he posed no threat and some black activists are calling it a ‘legal lynching.’
32-year-old Philando Castile was stopped over a broken tail light and shot – reportedly – after he moved to show his driving license. His girlfriend was in the car with him, and filmed what happened. The shooting took place just days after another killing of an African-American man by police officers – this time, in the US state of Louisiana.
A Minnesota woman documented the aftermath of her boyfriend’s shooting at the hands of a police officer during a traffic stop for what she called a “busted taillight,” the Minneapolis Star-Tribune reported. Lavish Reynolds’ video shows her boyfriend, who is not identified, slumped in a car next to her while bleeding. When the officer asked him for his license and registration, she says, the man said they were in his wallet, while also informing him that he was also carrying a gun, for which he had a permit.
“The officer said don’t move,” Reynolds explains. “As he was putting his hands back up, the officer shot him in the arm four or five times.”
The camera then captures the officer still standing outside the car and pointing his gun at the couple. It is unclear whether he called for help by the time Reynolds began recording the encounter
“F*ck!” the officer can be heard yelling. “I told him not to reach for it. I told him to keep his hand open.”
“You told him to get his ID, sir, and his license,” Reynolds responds.
As she worries aloud whether her boyfriend is dying next to her, the officer can be heard ordering her, “Keep your hands where they are.”
“You shot four bullets into him, sir,” she tells the officer as her boyfriend’s breathing sounds strained. “He was just getting his license and registration, sir.”
Another officer can then be heard ordering Reynolds to exit the car with her hands up. When she asks where her daughter is, the second officer orders her to turn away from him and walk backwards. She is then ordered to get on her knees.
“Please don’t tell me she’s gone,” she can be heard saying, before she begins yelling in anguish. Seconds later, the first officer can be heard yelling, “F*ck!” again.
Later in the video, Reynolds says she is in the back of a police car with her daughter.
“The police just shot my boyfriend for no reason,” she says, before she recounts her story, adding, “The Roseville Police Department just shot my boyfriend.”
The Star-Tribune reported that Reynolds’ boyfriend was hospitalized. His condition has not been listed. According to her, the victim works for the public school district in St. Paul.
“He’s never been in jail, anything,” Reynolds says at one point. “He’s not a gang member, anything.”
Update: WCCO-TV reported that the victim, 32-year-old Philando Castile, died following the shooting.
Reynolds originally uploaded the video to her Facebook page, but it was taken down late Wednesday night.
Louisiana Gov. John Bel Edwards says the cellphone video of the fatal police shooting of a black man in Baton Rouge is “disturbing to say the least.”
“So who is Alton Sterling? For starters, liberals should know he possessed an illegal firearm. As a felon with a lengthy rap sheet, Sterling is legally prohibited from possessing a firearm. Police records show Sterling had been a member of the Bloods gang, and had a list of offenses including battery, assault, drugs and weapons charges, and owed $25,000 in child support. He was also a registered pedophile, having impregnated a 14-year-old girl when he was 20. The media, by contrast, has portrayed him as a loving father of five.”
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