Falcon Heights shooting: Facebook video captures aftermath of fatal police shooting

A suburban Minneapolis police officer fatally shot a black man on Wednesday during a traffic stop, police said, and a woman posted a video on the internet saying he had been reaching for his license and showing what she described as the aftermath of the incident.

The incident comes hours after the US Justice Department said it had opened an investigation into two police officers fatally shooting a black man in Baton Rouge, Louisiana on Tuesday.

The use of force by law enforcement against African-Americans in cities from Ferguson, Missouri, to Baltimore and New York has come under heavy scrutiny.

The St Anthony Police Department said in a statement an unidentified black man was wounded in an officer-involved shooting during a traffic stop in Falcon Heights, Minnesota at 9pm local time,

The man was taken to the hospital where he later died, police said.

A woman live-streamed what she described as the aftermath of the shooting in a 10-minute video posted on YouTube and briefly on Facebook. Reuters has been unable to confirm the validity of the video.

The video began with the unidentified woman in the passenger seat describing what had happened moments before while a black man covered in blood sat in the driver’s seat as a police officer pointed a gun into the vehicle.

The woman said that her boyfriend had just been pulled over for a broken tail light and explained that he had a gun, which he was licensed to carry.

“He was trying to get out his ID and his wallet out of his pocket,” she said. “He let the officer know that he had a firearm and that he was reaching for his wallet and the officer just shot him in his arm.”

Police said a handgun was recovered at the scene.

Officers told the woman to keep her hands up as a small child is heard briefly crying in the background.

“Fuck. I told him not to reach for it,” a distraught man is heard screaming in the video.

The Minneapolis Star newspaper reported relatives and friends identified the man as Philando Castile, 32. Castile was a cafeteria supervisor at a school in St Paul school district, according to the paper.

“He doesn’t deserve this,” the woman was heard saying as she cried in the video. “He was a good man.”

Subscribe to the M&G

These are unprecedented times, and the role of media to tell and record the story of South Africa as it develops is more important than ever.

The Mail & Guardian is a proud news publisher with roots stretching back 35 years, and we’ve survived right from day one thanks to the support of readers who value fiercely independent journalism that is beholden to no-one. To help us continue for another 35 future years with the same proud values, please consider taking out a subscription.

Guest Author

Related stories


Subscribers only

Medical aids blame external costs as fees increase beyond inflation

Medical aid is becoming more of a luxury for many South Africans, and it’s not about to get any better

Mahikeng compounds its mess

The ailing town that wasted R2-billion appoints a municipal manager rated ‘basic’, the lowest level

More top stories

Zondo says break-in will not intimidate commission

The deputy chief justice said it was not clear if the burglary and a recent shooting were more than criminality, but vowed no one would deter the inquiry

European heavyweights face criticism over ‘cynical’ Super League

The 12 founding clubs of the breakaway competition have faced backlash from the football community

South Africa’s planned harmful gas limits ‘off target’

South Africa’s latest proposed reduction targets on greenhouse gas emissions, while an improvement on before, do not go far enough to avert a disastrous rise in global temperatures this century.

Cape Town fire: Suspect arrested for alleged arson in separate...

This separate fire was not an extension of the Rhodes Memorial fire, according to authorities

press releases

Loading latest Press Releases…