In Minnesota, protesters took to the streets Sunday for a third straight day after a St. Anthony police officer was acquitted Friday in the killing of a black motorist he shot five times during a traffic stop last year. Officer Jeronimo Yanez was acquitted on charges of manslaughter for killing African American Philando Castile. The jury of seven men and five women, 10 of whom were white and two who were African-American, deliberated for more than 25 hours over five days before acquitting Yanez on all charges. This is Philando Castile’s sister Allysza, speaking just after Friday’s verdict.
Allysza Castile: “And I’m really just so hurt, because y’all took away—he took away something so precious from me. That was my brother, that was my mentor, that was my father figure, that was everything. That man worked hard every single day, every birthday, every Christmas. He was the one that made sure I had gifts. He didn’t deserve to die the way he did. And I will never have faith in this system. I will never have faith in this system.”
Philando Castile’s death was live-streamed on Facebook by his girlfriend, Diamond Reynolds, in an extraordinary video in which she narrated the aftermath of the shooting while she was still in the car, with Officer Yanez pointing a gun at her and her 4-year-old daughter. On Friday evening, about 2,000 demonstrators gathered outside Minnesota’s state Capitol in St. Paul to demand police accountability. Several protesters blocked a main interstate between St. Paul and Minneapolis, resulting in 18 arrests. Peaceful demonstrations continued throughout the weekend. For more on the killing, we’ll go to the Twin Cities after headlines.
After police shot and killed Philando Castile, 32, during an apparent traffic stop in Minnesota, his girlfriend, who was in the car with him, began broadcasting the aftermath on Facebook Live. In less than a day, the video has garnered close to 4 million views, sparking protests in the state’s capital.
The video opens with Diamond Reynolds (identified as Lavish Reynolds on her Facebook page) showing Castile bloodied and in the driver’s seat, with the police officer’s gun visible through the window next to him.
Reynolds, whose daughter was in the backseat of the car, says on the video that the officer had asked Castile for his license and registration, and as Castile reached for the information and told the officer that he had a legally permitted gun in his car, the officer shot him “four to five times.”
Read the transcript of the Facebook Live video here:
Diamond Reynolds: Stay with me [inaudible yelling in background], We got pulled over for a busted tail light in the back and the police just, he … he’s, he’s covered [inaudible yelling in background], they killed my boyfriend. He’s licensed he’s carried, he’s licensed to carry. He was trying to get out his ID and his wallet out his pocket, and he let the officer know that he was, that he had a firearm and that he was reaching for his wallet and the officer just shot him in his arm.
Officer: Ma’am, keep your hands where they are.
Reynolds: I will sir, no worries, I will.
Reynolds: He just got his arm shot off. We got pulled over on Larpenteur.
Officer: I told him not to reach for it! I told him to get his head up!
Reynolds: He had, you told him to get his ID, sir, his driver’s license. Oh my god please don’t tell me he’s dead.
Reynolds: Please don’t tell me my boyfriend just went like that.
Officer: Keep your hands where they are please.
Reynolds: Yes I will, sir. I will keep my hands where they are. 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. 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.
Officer: Get the female passenger out.
Other officer, off camera: Ma’am exit the car right now with your hands up. Let me see your hands. Exit now. Keep ‘em up, keep ‘em up!
Reynolds: Where’s my daughter? You got my daughter?”
Other officer: Face away from me and walk backwards. Walk backwards towards me. Keep walking. Keep walking. Keep walking. Get on your knees. Get on your knees. Ma’am you’re just being detained right now until we get this all sorted out OK?
[Daughter crying in background]
Reynolds: They threw my phone Facebook. Please don’t tell me, Lord Jesus please don’t tell me [inaudible].
Officer: Let me see your purse. You have any weapons or anything?
Reynolds: No. Please don’t tell me my boyfriend is gone. You can take it off my hand. Please don’t tell me he’s gone. Please Jesus no. Please no. Please no don’t let him be gone Lord.
Reynolds: He told him to get his license and registration. He told him he was licensed to carry and that he had his gun on him and then he started shooting. He started shooting for no reason.
Officer: [Yells, screams “fuck” multiple times.]
Reynolds: His wallet and license and registration, you told him to get it, sir [crying]. You told him and he tried to tell you he had a license to carry and was gonna take it off. Please don’t tell me my boyfriend’s gone. He don’t deserve this. Please. He’s a good man, he works for St. Paul Public school. He doesn’t have no records of anything. He’s never been in jail, anything. He’s not a gang member, anything.
Reynolds: [inaudible] and that you cover him Lord. That you allow him to still be here with us Lord. Still with me [inaudible] Lord. Please Lord wrap your arms around him. Please Lord make sure that he’s OK, that he’s breathing Lord. [inaudible] Please Lord you know our rights Lord, you know we are innocent people Lord. We are innocent people. We are innocent people. We are innocent. My four-year-old [inaudible]
Reynolds: Could you please get my phone for me?
Other officer: I’ll talk to my supervisor.
Reynolds: It’s right there, it’s on the floor. It’s right there.
Other officer: Could you just stand here sweetie?
Child: I want to get my mommy’s purse.
Other officer: I’ll take care of that, OK? Can you just stand right here for me?
Reynolds: Stay right here. Before you take the handcuffs off of me can you [inaudible]
Other officer: Can you search her before I [inaudible]? I can’t, it’s got to be processed OK? OK?
Reynolds: Come here (to child).
Other officer: Is that your phone?
[cuts out to her in the back of a police car, few seconds of silence]
Reynolds: We’re in the back seat of the police car. [inaudible] Phil’s sister, call me, the police just shot my boyfriend for no apparent reason. My phone is about to die. They shot him. He shot him three times because we had a busted tail light. He asked him for license and registration, he told him that it was in his wallet but he had a pistol on him because he’s licensed to carry, and the officer told him ‘don’t move’ and as he was putting his hands back up the officer shot him in his arm about four, five times. I’m on Larpenteur and Fry. Whoever can come to Larpenteur and Fry, that’s where I’m at. I’m gonna need a ride home. We’re on Larpenteur and Fry. [inaudible] if you can come to Larpenteur and Fry we’re right here in Roseville. Got the Roseville Police, they got me handcuffed, my phone is about to die. I’m on Larpenteur and Fry and the Roseville Police Department just shot my boyfriend. They shot him four times. He’s licensed to carry. We had a busted tail light. And we had some weed in the car. That’s about it. It was a Chinese police officer that shot him. He’s Chinese, he’s about 5.5, 5.6-1/2, heavy-set guy. He asked him for his license and registration, which was in the back of his pocket because he keeps his wallet in his pocket. And as he went to reach he let the officer know before he was reaching that he had a firearm on him, and before he can let the officer know anything, the officer took off shots. About 4 or 5 rounds were shot, and my boyfriend … I don’t know what condition he’s in. I don’t know if he’s OK, or if he’s not OK. I’m in the back seat of the police car, in the back seat of the police car handcuffed. I need a ride. I’m on Larpenteur and Fry. They’ve got machine guns pointed.
Child: I’m scared.
Reynolds: Don’t be scared. My daughter just witnessed this. The police just shot him for no apparent reason. No reason at all. They asked for license and registration. That’s the police officer over there that did it with the black on. I can’t really do shit because they have me handcuffed.
Child: It’s OK mommy.
Reynolds: I can’t believe they just did this I’m fucking, fucking…fuck! [screams].
Child: It’s OK, I’m right here with you.
Reynolds: Y’all please pray for us, Jesus, please y’all. I ask everybody on Facebook, everybody that’s watching, everybody that’s tuned in please pray for us. Sister I know I just dropped you off but I need you to pick me up I need [inaudible] to call my phone.