World

Black man dies in new US police shooting

Alton Sterling
Alton Sterling

A black man has been shot dead by police in the US state of Minnesota as protests continued over the police killing of a black man in Louisiana.

Philando Castile’s girlfriend live-streamed the aftermath, showing him covered in blood with a police officer pointing his gun at him.

He was shot as he reached for his driving licence, she said.

It follows the death of Alton Sterling, who was shot dead by police during an incident in Baton Rouge on Tuesday.

Hundreds of people have protested for two nights over Mr Sterling’s killing.

The deaths follow a long line of high-profile incidents involving African-

Americans at the hands of the police, igniting a national debate about the lethal use of force.

Mr Castile had been stopped in Falcon Heights, a suburb of St Paul, because the car had a broken rear light, the woman, identified in local media reports as Lavish Reynolds, said.

Before he was shot, he told the officer that he was licensed to carry a concealed gun and had one in his possession, she said.

“You shot four bullets into him, sir. He was just getting his license and registration, sir,” Ms Reynolds says in the video.

Philando Castilo
Philando Castile was a school cafeteria supervisor

A child, Ms Reynolds’s daughter, was also in the car at the time.

Police said an investigation was under way and the officer involved has been put on leave.

Mr Castile, 32, worked as a cafeteria supervisor at a Montessori school.

He was a “black individual driving in Falcon Heights who was immediately criminally profiled”, his cousin Antonio Johnson told the Star Tribune newspaper.

About 200 people have been protesting outside State Governor Mark Dayton’s mansion in St Paul.

In Baton Rouge, hundreds of people gathered for a second night of protests at the shop where Alton Sterling, 37, was killed on Tuesday.

Some demonstrators chanted “Black lives matter” and called for justice.

A video emerged on Wednesday that showed the altercation between Mr Sterling and two police officers.


Police killings that scar the US

Michael Slager feels Walter Scott's pulseImage copyrightREUTERS

Walter Scott – unarmed and shot in the back as he ran away from an officer in Charleston, South Carolina, in April 2015. Former officer Michael Slager facing murder charge

Laquan McDonald – 17-year-old was holding a knife but appeared to be moving away from police in Chicago when shot 16 times in 2014. Officer Jason Van Dyke denies murder charge

Michael Brown – 18-year-old shot at least seven times in Ferguson, Missouri, in August 2014, sparking nationwide protests. Cleared of wrongdoing

Eric Garner – died after being placed in a chokehold by New York police while selling cigarettes in July 2014. Grand jury decides against charges, police disciplinary action taken against supervising officer Sgt Kizzy Adonis

US police violence

1,152 people killed by police in 2015

  • 30% of victims were black
  • 13% of US population is black
  • 97% of deaths were not followed by any charges against police officers

It appears to show Mr Sterling being held down and then shot several times, although some shots are heard when the camera moves away from the confrontation.

Seconds later, one of the officers is seen removing an object from the man’s trousers as he lies on the ground with blood on his chest.

Police have said Mr Sterling was found to be armed. Officers were initially called because of a 911 report of a man brandishing a gun.

This was provided to the Daily Beast by the shop owner, Abdullah Muflahi, who said it proves the man was no threat to the officers when he was shot.

The cry is for justice, but most of those here say it’s not something they expect. They distrust the police, they say they fear all authority and they’ve gathered at this street corner where Alton Sterling was killed to stand together and say “no more”.

They’ve prayed, they’ve sung, they’ve cried and they’ve danced. An artist has spray-painted Mr Sterling’s face on the side of the convenience store. Others lit candles and released balloons.

It has been peaceful, but there is real anger here and at times almost despair.

It’s not just about the death of one man. There are some who feel that the fight for equality might be one that they will never win.


Mr Sterling, a father of five, died at the scene and hours later a video filmed by a bystander which showed his death was released.

The officers involved, Blane Salamoni and Howie Lake II, were put on administrative leave.

The US department of justice has launched a civil rights investigation and Louisiana Governor John Bel Edwards has appealed for calm.

Source: BBC

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