Less than 24 hours after a 37-year-old man, Alton Sterling, was fatally shot by Baton Rouge police, Philando Castile, 32, was also killed by Minnesota police while sitting in his vehicle during a traffic stop. According to RT, mourners are seeking justice for the deaths of Sterling and Castile, and they will “protest against police brutality until authorities get the message.”
At approximately 9 p.m. Wednesday, July 6, Philando Castile of Falcon Heights, Minnesota and his fiancé, Diamond “Lavish” Reynolds, were pulled over by a police officer at Larpenteur Avenue and Fry Street for a “broken taillight.”
When the Minnesota officer, whose name has not been released, approached the vehicle, he asked Castile, who was the driver, for his license and registration after he was informed by the driver that he was carrying a firearm, but the officer was assured that he was licensed to carry.
— Business Insider (@businessinsider) July 7, 2016
However, the traffic stop soon turned deadly while Castile was reaching in his back pocket for his license and registration. The Minnesota police officer allegedly shot the man in his vehicle four times.
According to CNN, Castile’s girlfriend quickly began recording the police shooting aftermath from her phone while the officer stood a few feet away from her with his gun drawn.
In the video, which was uploaded to Facebook and viewed over a million times, the Minnesota officer is heard saying, “I told him not to reach for it. I told him to get his hand off it,” believing the man was reaching for his gun.
— ABC News (@ABC) July 7, 2016
Reynolds told the Minnesota officer that Castile was only reaching for his license and registration, which the officer had asked him to get.
As the officer waits for backup, Reynolds continued to record, telling the camera that the Minnesota officer shot the man in his vehicle for no reason. At some point during the video, Castile stops moving, and his girlfriend says, “Please don’t tell me this, Lord. Please, Jesus, don’t tell me that he’s gone. Please don’t tell me that he’s gone.”
When paramedics arrived, Castile was rushed to Hennepin County Medical Center, where he was pronounced dead after he was shot by a Minnesota police officer during a traffic stop.
— Roberto Blizzard (@VeganYogaDude) July 7, 2016
Just hours before a Minnesota police officer allegedly shot and killed Philando Castile, 37-year-old Alton Sterling was also killed in a police shooting at a gas station in Baton Rouge, Louisiana. Sterling’s shooting death was recorded on a cell phone by bystanders, which “sparked sorrow and outrage across the country.”
On the night of July 5, Sterling was outside a convenience store, Triple S Food Mart, selling CDs when a homeless man asked him for money. After begging several times, Sterling became irritated and allegedly showed him his gun and said, “Leave me leave alone.”
Documents stated that the homeless man called 911 and stated that Alton Sterling had been waving a gun at the store. Baton Rouge police officials have since released his 911 call to the public.
Shortly after, camera footage shows a Baton Rouge officer, whose name has not been released, tackling the father of five to the ground with excessive force. It was later reported that Sterling was threatening the officers with a gun.
After a brief scuffle, an officer sits on top of Sterling, who was on the ground, and restrained his right arm, while another officer held his left arm.
Although Sterling was visibly lying on the ground, not resisting, the officer continues to yell “get on the ground.” Not long after the officer is heard saying, “don’t you f****** move or I swear to God,” a hail of gunshots were fired at the suspect at close range.
— WIS News 10 (@wis10) July 7, 2016
Sterling could be seen lying on the ground with a gunshot wound to the chest. However, a preliminary autopsy confirmed that he was also shot in the back.
The Baton Rouge police officers accused of fatally shooting Alton Sterling, who died at the scene, were placed on administrative leave.
[Image via AP Images / Gerald Herbert]