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"I wanted everybody in the world to see what the police do," says woman who posted video after shooting
As Philando Castile’s head slumps backward while he lies dying next to her, Diamond Reynolds looks into the camera and explains a Minnesota police officer just shot her fiancé four times.
The nation is, by now, accustomed to grainy cell phone videos of officer-involved shootings, but this footage from Falcon Heights, outside Minneapolis, is something different, more visceral: a woman live-streaming a shooting’s aftermath with the police officer a few feet away, his gun still trained on her bloody fiancé.
“He let the officer know that he had a firearm and he was reaching for his wallet and the officer just shot him in his arm,” Reynolds said as she broadcast the details of Wednesday’s evening shooting on Facebook.
Castile, an African-American, was a school nutrition services supervisor who was popular among his colleagues and students, according to his employer.
He had been pulled over for a broken taillight, Reynolds explained on the Facebook video. He told the officer he was armed and had a concealed carry permit, she said. Her daughter, 4, was in the back seat.
As she speaks, Castile’s wrists are crossed. Blood covers the bottom of his white T-shirt sleeve and a large area around his sternum and left rib cage. Perhaps in shock or agony, he peers emptily upward. At one point, he moans in pain as she describes the situation.
‘You shot four bullets into him, sir’
Though you can’t see the St. Anthony police officer’s face, you can hear the agitation in his voice as he tells Reynolds to keep her hands visible.
Composed, as she remains through much of the video, Reynolds replies, “I will, sir, no worries. I will.”
The officer still sounds distressed as he explains, “I told him not to reach for it. I told him to get his hand off it.”
Moments later, Reynolds pleads with God and then the officer as she realizes Castile won’t make it.
“Please don’t tell me this, Lord. Please, Jesus, don’t tell me that he’s gone,” she said. “Please, officer, don’t tell me that you just did this to him. You shot four bullets into him, sir. He was just getting his license and registration, sir.”
She continues pleading outside the car as officers approach her with guns drawn. One orders her to her knees. The phone films the sky.
“Please Jesus, no. Please no. Please no, don’t let him be gone,” Reynolds says before officers place her and her daughter in a police cruiser.
Later, at Hennepin County Medical Center, her fears were confirmed: Her fiancé was gone, just a week and a half before his 33rd birthday.