Authorities are investigating and people are protesting the fatal shooting of a black man by police following a traffic stop Wednesday night in Falcon Heights. The man was identified by relatives as Philando Castile, 32, a St. Paul schools employee.
Here’s what we know so far:
• Police made a traffic stop around 9 p.m. near the intersection of Larpenteur Avenue and Fry Street in Falcon Heights.
• An officer fired his weapon and struck the man, who was a cafeteria supervisor at J.J. Hill Montessori School in St. Paul.
• Castile was taken to Hennepin County Medical Center in Minneapolis, where he died at 9:37 p.m.
• In the moments after the shooting, a woman who was in the car with Castile shot a video with her cellphone and live-streamed it on Facebook from an account linked to Lavish Reynolds.
• The woman, Diamond Reynolds, who identified herself as Castile’s girlfriend, said in the video that “police shot him for no apparent reason, no reason at all.” The video shows the man in the driver’s seat slumped next to her, his white T-shirt soaked with blood on the left side.
• Reynolds said Castile was just reaching to get his ID when an officer fired four times.
• A child was in the car at the time of the incident.
• Reynolds said during a news conference outside the governor's residence Thursday that she and Castile were coming from the grocery store when they were stopped by police for a broken light. She said the light wasn't broken.
• Reynolds said she and Castile had been at a shop to get his hair done for his birthday. He would have turned 33 years old on July 16.
• St. Anthony interim police chief Jon Mangseth read a statement in which he confirmed a St. Anthony police officer pulled an individual over for a traffic stop. “During the stop, shots were fired,” he said. He did not name the individual, but said that an adult male had died.
• Protesters gathered in front of the governor’s residence in St. Paul demanding answers and blocking traffic.
• The Minnesota Bureau of Criminal Apprehension will lead the investigation.
• Gov. Mark Dayton said in a release that he has requested the U.S. Department of Justice "begin an immediate independent federal investigation" into the killing.
• Speaking to reporters at the governor's residence, Dayton said: "My deepest condolences go out to the family and friends. On behalf of all decent minded Minnesotans, we are shocked and horrified by what occurred last night. This kind of behavior is unacceptable. It is not the norm in Minnesota. I promise … to see that this matter is brought to justice and all avenues are pursued and do a complete investigation. Justice will be served in Minnesota.”
• In a news conference Thursday afternoon, Dayton condemned the actions by police, saying that while not all the facts are in yet, the force used in the traffic stop was excessive. "Would this have happened if the driver were white, if the passengers were white?” Dayton asked. “I don’t think it would have."
• President Obama issued a statement on Facebook saying all Americans should feel "deeply troubled" by the shootings of Castile and Alton Sterling in Baton Rouge, La. "What’s clear is that these fatal shootings are not isolated incidents," Obama said. "They are symptomatic of the broader challenges within our criminal justice system, the racial disparities that appear across the system year after year, and the resulting lack of trust that exists between law enforcement and too many of the communities they serve.”
• Sen. Al Franken, D-Minn., also called for a federal investigation. He said in a statement: "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."
• A vigil for Castile at J.J. Hill Montessori Magnet School in St. Paul, where he was employed as a cafeteria worker, led to a march to the governor's residence, where Gov. Mark Dayton met with Castile's family. Some protesters broke off and marched in the St. Paul streets, briefly blocking traffic and light-rail trains.
• The officer who shot Castile was identified as Jeronimo Yanez. Yanez and Joseph Kauser, who also was part of the traffic stop, have been placed on paid leave. Both have been with the St. Anthony police for four years.
• The Castile shooting and the fatal shooting in Louisiana of Alton Sterling led to protests in other cities. In Dallas, five police officers were killed by snipers and six others were hurt at a protest downtown.
Tim Harlow • 612-673-7768