The shooting death of Philando Castile: Officer to face charges

A St. Anthony police officer shot and killed Philando Castile, a 32-year-old African-American man, during a traffic stop in Falcon Heights, with much of the aftermath recorded on live video.

    U.S. Senator Amy Klobuchar today issued the following statement on the death of Philando Castile:
     
    “My thoughts are with all those impacted by the tragic death of Philando Castile. There should be a full and thorough investigation into his death. At the same time, we must do more to ensure accountability and trust between our law enforcement and the communities they serve, especially communities of color. I have long supported important policy changes, including videotaped interrogations, reforms to the eyewitness process, body camera trials, diversity in hiring, law enforcement resources and training, and meaningful and consistent outreach to our citizens.”
    Just had protesters threaten to pull my mic cord out of my recorder in a public street. Mic wasn't even on.
    Diamond Reynolds stands with Clarence Castile outside of the Governor’s Mansion during the NAACP press conference on Thursday, July 7, 2016. Reynolds was in the car with Philando Castile when the shooting occurred. Clarence is Philando's uncle.
     
    Governor Mark Dayton speaks to Philando Castile’s uncle Clarence Castile during the NAACP press conference outside of the governor’s mansion on Thursday, July 7, 2016.
     
    Governor Mark Dayton listens to the NAACP Press Conference next to NAACP President Nekima Levy-Pounds and the daughter of Diamond Reynolds outside of the governor’s mansion on Thursday, July 7, 2016.
     
    Gov. Dayton plans 3pm presser with cabinet members to further discuss Philando Castile shooting.
    . @GovMarkDayton "Terrible tragedy has befallen the people of minnesota" #PhilandoCastile
    “Nobody should be shot and killed in Minnesota for a taillight being out of function.” @GovMarkDayton #PhilandoCastile
    "Would this have happened if those passengers were white? I don't think it would have." _ @GovMarkDayton #PhilandoCastile

    Officer who killed black driver to be identified 

    FALCON HEIGHTS, Minn. (AP) — Minnesota's top public safety official says investigators plan to release the name of the officer who shot and killed a black driver after he is interviewed.

    Department of Public Safety Commissioner Ramona Dohman said at a news conference in St. Paul that the officer who shot and killed Philando Castile on Wednesday will be interviewed later Thursday and that his name will be released afterward.

    The officer shot Castile several times after police apparently stopped his vehicle due to a broken taillight in the Minneapolis suburb of Falcon Heights. Castile's girlfriend, Diamond Reynolds, was in the car and broadcast the aftermath of the shooting live on Facebook.

    Dohman declined to say if investigators are reviewing other footage, what led to the traffic stop or whether Castile was licensed to carry a gun that Reynolds said he had in the car.

    Protesters outside the governor's mansion. (Emma Sapong | MPR News)
     

    Chauntyll Allen leads a protest chant in front of the governor's mansion. (Courtney Perry for MPR News)

    Minnesota politicians respond to the Philando Castile shooting

    There was plenty of reaction from Minnesota political leaders to the fatal shooting of Philando Castile by a St. Anthony police officer.

    Here are some of their statements.

    Gov. Mark Dayton:

    “I extend my deepest condolences to the family, friends, and community of Philando Castile. Our state today grieves with them. This morning, I spoke by phone with White House Chief of Staff Denis McDonough to request that the U.S. Department of Justice begin an immediate independent federal investigation into this matter. Overnight, the Bureau of Criminal Apprehension began an independent investigation at the state level. They are currently collecting all necessary evidence, and interviewing witnesses, to determine what happened, and to assure that justice in this case is served. I will do everything in my power to help protect the integrity of that investigation, to ensure a proper and just outcome for all involved.”

    U.S. Sen. Amy Klobuchar:

    “My thoughts are with all those impacted by the tragic death of Philando Castile. There should be a full and thorough investigation into his death. At the same time, we must do more to ensure accountability and trust between our law enforcement and the communities they serve, especially communities of color. I have long supported important policy changes, including videotaped interrogations, reforms to the eyewitness process, body camera trials, diversity in hiring, law enforcement resources and training, and meaningful and consistent outreach to our citizens.”

    U.S. Sen. Al Franken:

    “I am horrified and heartbroken by the death of Philando Castile,” said Sen. Franken. “I am horrified that we are forced to confront yet another death of a young African-American man at the hands of law enforcement. And I am heartbroken for Philando’s family and loved ones, whose son, brother, boyfriend, and nephew was taken from them last night. They deserve nothing less than a full and independent investigation into Philando’s death by the Department of Justice. As Philando’s mother said this morning, ‘All we want is justice.’ We need to make sure that justice is pursued swiftly and thoroughly in this case, and we must also recognize that it is our job as lawmakers to help address and dismantle the systemic racial inequalities that lead to far too many of these deaths.”

    U.S. Rep. Keith Ellison:

    “#TrayvonMartin. #MikeBrown. #TamirRice. #KyamLivingston. #WalterJones. #SandraBland. #EricGarner.  #RekiaBoyd. #LaquanMcDonald. #TanishaAnderson. #JamarClark. #AltonSterling. #PhilandoCastile. And the list goes on… and on. We live a world where certain Americans live in fear that their name will become a hashtag. It is not enough to say “Black Lives Matter”. It’s time to make the system mean it. We need immediate and meaningful accountability and justice. Officers who use excessive force cannot assume immunity as they routinely do today. We need one standard of justice for all. I join my colleague Representative Betty McCollum in calling for an immediate investigation by the Department of Justice. The video showing the immediate aftermath of the shooting is horrific. Lavish “Diamond” Reynolds acted heroically and with remarkable presence of mind when she live-streamed the incident and calmly narrated the events as they unfolded. She did this as Philando lay dying beside her and with her four-year old daughter in the vehicle. Although the investigation is just beginning, I ask the Bureau of Criminal Apprehension to release any and all videos related to Philando Castile’s shooting as soon as possible. The public deserves transparency in the pursuit of truth and justice. I also call on all prosecutorial authorities to reject the use of the grand jury and to make themselves personally and directly accountable for charging decisions. In the case of officer-involved shootings, it is not a trusted tool and will undermine confidence in any decision. Sadly, we in the Twin Cities have been here before – most recently with Jamar Clark. Nothing we do now will bring Philando Castile back. But justice must prevail. Not just because our community will demand it, but because Philando deserves it.”

    U.S. Rep. Betty McCollum:

    “My deepest sympathies are with Mr. Castile’s family, loved ones, and friends. I have watched the video of this incident circulating online. It is profoundly disturbing. The circumstances surrounding this tragic event call for an immediate investigation led by the United States Department of Justice. A federal investigation will provide all Minnesotans with a clear understanding of the facts surrounding this incident and ensure accountability appropriate to those facts. At this time of tragedy, we have already seen an outpouring of citizens protesting this incident. Protesters and police will need to ensure that calm prevails in our community and that the First Amendment rights of all citizens are respected.”

    U.S. Rep. Tim Walz:

    “My heart is with the family and friends of Philando Castile as they grieve his shocking and tragic death.  I echo calls for an independent and thorough investigation by the U.S. Department of Justice.  We must be governed by facts and the rule of law to ensure justice for all involved.  I ask for calmness and peace as Minnesotans express sorrow and exercise their First Amendment rights.”

    Also, state Sens. Bobby Joe Champion and Jeff Hayden Issued a joint statement:

    “We didn’t know Philando Castile, but we know the story of his death all too well, and now the world knows his name and how he was slain. In the last 24 hours we have seen video of shooting deaths of two black men — Alton Sterling in Louisiana and Philando Castile in Minnesota. A lack of faith in our justice system is not only understandable, it’s warranted. The justice system failed Philando last night, but there is a chance now for the federal Department of Justice to do the right thing in the wake of this tragedy. It is critical that the DOJ lead the investigation and show the Black community that justice, even following a horrific event like Philando’s death, can be served. The treatment of a Black man compared to a white man who identifies themselves as a lawful carrier of a concealed weapon is stark: Philando is dead, while recently stopped Gun Owners Civil Rights Alliance president Andrew Rothman was sent on his way, alive. Police-involved deaths like Philando’s have become the soundtrack of our lives. We thank community members and supporters who have interrupted their lives in the middle of this crisis to show up and decry this kind of deplorable, unacceptable targeting of young black men. To our community: continue the fight, say his name, and know that we are with you. As elected leaders we take seriously the burden eliminating profiling, unfair treatment, and implicit bias in our justice system. We will continue to work closely with the community to heal and press forward against the barriers Black Minnesotans face.”

    Technology gives bracing immediacy to police shooting story

    The video of Philando Castile in Falcon Heights spread online only hours after the release of footage showing the killing of Alton Sterling in Baton Rouge, La.

    Protesters head to the vigil at JJ Hill Montessori. (Emma Sapong | MPR News)

    Unicorn Riot has a live stream of the vigil for Philando Castile tonight at J.J. Hill Montessori: Watch here.
     

    Crowd leaves governor's mansion for vigil at JJ Hill Montessori where Philando Castile worked. (Mike Moen | MPR News)

    Tia Williams draws with chalk as her daughter Aissa Bathily, 8, lays down on Summit Ave. to make a statement outside of the governor's mansion in St. Paul. (Courtney Perry | MPR News)

    Hester Boeing, right, wipes tears away as she considers her own 4-year-old son and what it must have been like for Diamond Reynolds and her child to have witnessed the shooting of Philando Castile. Boeing attended high school with Reynolds. She stood here listening to speakers outside the governor's mansion in St. Paul. (Courtney Perry | MPR News)

    Hear President Barack Obama talk about the deaths of Philando Castile and Alton Sterling live on mprnews.org

    Laura Yuen on Twitter

    Twitter“"He would be so proud to see so many people supporting him." - Valerie Castile on her son, Philando.”

    Hundreds of people have gathered outside the governor's residence after a memorial service for Philando Castile at the J.J. Hill Montessori School, where he worked. Video from Emma Sapong, MPR News

    Castile family and friends walk through the crowd outside the governor's residence. Video by Emma Sapong | MPR News

    NHL team Dallas Stars prays

    by AFP via - DALLAS SHOOTING LIVE REPORT 7/8/2016 7:16:02 AM
    Obama briefed
    07:16 GMT - The White House says President Barack Obama, who is attending a NATO summit in Warsaw, has been briefed.
    "The president has been updated on the shooting of police officers in Dallas. He asked his team to keep him updated on the situation as they get additional information," White House spokesman Josh Earnest says.
    by AFP via - DALLAS SHOOTING LIVE REPORT 7/8/2016 7:17:48 AM
    Sports world reacts
    07:10 GMT - The sports world is reacting with shock to the shootings:
    "Hurting for Dallas right now," says Alex Morgan, a member of the US national women's soccer team.
    "It seems like we wake up or go to sleep reading more tragedies than not. I want to wake up from this nightmare."
    NBA star LeBron James takes to Twitter to tell his 31.5 million social media followers violence won't solve anything.
    "We are all hurting tonight," James tweets. "More violence is not the answer. #StoptheViolence."
    "I want to hope this is all a bad dream...it ain't," two-time Major League Baseball World Series champion Shane Victorino tweets.
    Chris Iannetta, catcher for the Seattle Mariners, calls for an end to shootings on both sides.
    "People. Please end the violence. Enough is enough. We are all humans. We all deserve the right to live happily!"
    Japanese pitcher Yu Darvish has played four seasons with the Texas Rangers and lives in Dallas.
    "Pray for my hometown. #prayforDallas," he tweets.
    "Praying for this world my kids gotta grow up in...I'll die for them, won't let the streets or the (social) media raise them. That's on God," tweets Oklahoma City Thunder player Anthony Morrow.
    Spencer Dinwiddie, who played 12 games with the Detroit Pistons this past season, said the killings seem so senseless.
    "Whole lotta hate out here...and in the grand scheme of things it's for no reason," he tweeted.

    by AFP via - DALLAS SHOOTING LIVE REPORT 7/8/2016 7:19:21 AM
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