Falcon heights shooting: Police killing of second black man in two days sparks outrage

Philandro Castile, 32, died in Minnesota a day after Alton Sterling was killed in Louisiana

Caroline Mortimer
Thursday 07 July 2016 15:26
Falcon Heights shooting

The shooting of a second black man in just two days by police has sparked outrage across the US.

Philando Castile was shot dead in his car in front of his girlfriend and child in Falcon Heights, a suburb of St Paul, Minnesota.

His girlfriend, Lavish Reynolds, recorded the man slowly bleeding to death as the officer continued to point his firearm into the car on Facebook Live.

She said they had been pulled over for a broken tail light and the 32-year-old was shot as he reached for his wallet.

Mr Castile later died in hospital.

Ms Reynolds described the scene repeatedly throughout the video: “He told him that it was in his wallet, but he had a pistol on him because he’s licensed to carry. 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 officer is heard yelling “I told him not to reach for it. I told him to get his hand out.”

Alton Sterling was shot dead by police in Baton Rouge, Louisana while selling CDs outside a supermarket 

The 10-minute video shows Ms Reynolds being arrested and put into the back of a police car along with her four-year-old daughter.

It is believed she is still in custody at the time of writing.

It comes just a day after the killings of Alton Sterling, 37, in Baton Rouge, Louisiana

Mr Sterling was shot in the chest and the back by police officers while selling CDs outside a supermarket.

Baton Rouge Police Chief Carl Dabadie Jr claimed both officers’ body cameras fell off during the incident.

Witnesses report police officers acted aggressively and Mr Sterling, although armed, did not get his gun out.

The killings have provoked outrage among US civil rights groups including the Black Lives Matter movement.

The video of Mr Castile’s death, which was removed from Facebook, has been reposted on Twitter along with the images of Mr Sterling’s death.

***Warning: The tweets below show graphic content

Hundreds of protesters gathered at the spot in Baton Rouge where Mr Sterling was shot to light candles and paint of a mural of him on the side of the Triple S Mart convenience store where he was killed.

They said prayers and carried placards saying "Hands up, don't shoot", "No justice, no peace" and "Stop killing us".

Democratic presidential nominee Hillary Clinton called his death a "tragedy" and said her prayers were with his five children.

She said: "From Staten Island to Baltimore, Ferguson to Baton Rouge, too many African American families mourn the loss of a loved one from a police-involved incident.

"Something is profoundly wrong when so many Americans have reason to believe that our country doesn't consider them as precious as others because of the colour of their skin."

A third black man, Derawn Small, was also killed by an off-duty police officer on Sunday in Brooklyn, New York after their cars almost collided.

Police said Mr Small got out of his car and began punching Office Wayne Issacs through the open window - but eyewitnesses say Officer Issacs was the aggressor.

A law enforcement official who had watched CCTV of the incident said Mr Small leaned into the car and the officer shot him.

But construction worker Lloyd Banks, who saw the shooting, told the New York Daily News both Mr Small and Officer Issacs got out of the car.

He said: “The cop just jumped out and started screaming.

“He just shot him right there on the street. Delron was unarmed. His wife and kids were still in the car. They saw everything.”

A vigil for the father of three was held in Brooklyn on Wednesday evening and his family and friends have demanded justice.

More than 100 black men have been killed across the US by police officers in 2016, the Guardian reports.

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