Just hours after 34-year-old Philando Castile was killed by a Minnesota police officer during a routine traffic stop, his fiancée, who filmed the aftermath on Facebook Live, is speaking out.
NPR reports that Diamond Reynolds, who was in the car at the time of the shooting along with the couple’s 4-year-old daughter, spoke with reporters yesterday afternoon, where she demanded justice.
“[I filmed the shooting] so that the world knows that these police are not here to protect and serve us,” she said. “They are here to assassinate us. They are here to kill us because we are Black.”
Reynolds said that following the shooting, she was handcuffed and taken into police custody. She and her daughter were separated at the precinct, and she wasn’t told until 3 a.m. that Castile had died. She was released from custody two hours later.
“I wanted everyone in the world to know how much [the police] tamper with evidence and how much they manipulate our minds,” she said. “I wanted it to go viral so that people could determine themselves as to what was right and what was wrong.”
Reynolds says that the couple was initially pulled over because of a broken taillight. When Officer Jeronimo Yanez asked for license and registration, Castile informed the officer that he was carrying a licensed firearm, but he was simply reaching into his pocket for his wallet. Shortly after that exchange, the officer opened fire.
Officer Joseph Kauser, who was also on the scene, reportedly called for back-up before calming Yanez and telling him that “he would get through this.” Reynolds said no one checked Castile’s pulse until the paramedics arrived.
“He killed him for no reason,” Reynolds said. “He was never a bad man. He was the quietest, most laid-back person. Nothing in his body language said ‘intimidation.’ Nothing in his body language said ‘shoot me.’ Nothing in his body language said ‘kill me.’”
Both officers involved have been placed on administrative leave.