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National

Investigation Continues Into Police Shooting Of Philando Castile

ROBERT SIEGEL, HOST:

We start in St. Paul, Minn., where Governor Mark Dayton is one of many people to express shock at the killing of a black man by police during a traffic stop last night.

(SOUNDBITE OF ARCHIVED RECORDING)

MARK DAYTON: Nobody should be shot and killing in Minnesota for a traffic - a taillight being out of function.

SIEGEL: The girlfriend of the victim, Philando Castile, live-streamed the aftermath on Facebook. A warning - we're going to hear some of that now. Minnesota Public Radio's Tim Nelson has the story.

TIM NELSON, BYLINE: It started small. Diamond Reynolds said she and her boyfriend had been pulled over for a broken taillight as they drove through a small suburb just north of St. Paul. Shots rang out.

(SOUNDBITE OF ARCHIVED RECORDING)

DIAMOND REYNOLDS: And the police just - he's covered.

NELSON: That's Reynolds streaming the video live on Facebook, narrating as Philando Castile, covered with blood, gasps his dying breath in the car seat beside her. Outside a police officer's pistol can be seen pointing at Castile through the window of the sedan.

(SOUNDBITE OF ARCHIVED RECORDING)

REYNOLDS: He's licensed to carry. He was trying to get out his I.D. and his wallet out his pocket, and he let the officer know that he was - he had a firearm and he was reaching for his wallet. And the officer just shot him in his arm. We're waiting for a...

UNIDENTIFIED OFFICER: Ma'am, keep your hands where they are.

REYNOLDS: I will, Sir - no worries. I will - [expletive].

NELSON: Family identified Castile as a 32-year-old school cafeteria worker. He was pronounced dead at a Minneapolis hospital a few minutes after he was shot.

(SOUNDBITE OF ARCHIVED RECORDING)

VALERIE CASTILE: I'm outraged.

NELSON: That's Philando's mother, Valerie Castile, speaking to CNN. She said police aren't being held accountable.

(SOUNDBITE OF ARCHIVED RECORDING)

CASTILE: We're being hunting every day. It's a silent war against African-American people as a whole.

NELSON: At the scene of the shooting, the Facebook live-stream brought angry protests within minutes.

(CROSSTALK)

NELSON: Authorities offered few details of what happened. Jon Mangseth is interim police chief in nearby St. Anthony which provides police to neighboring Falcon Heights. He said only that there had been a traffic stop by his officers. Shots were fired. A man was dead, and an investigation begun.

(SOUNDBITE OF ARCHIVED RECORDING)

JON MANGSETH: The officer involved in this incident has been put on standard paid administrative leave.

NELSON: Soon after the chief spoke in the middle of the night, hundreds of protesters blocked the street in front of the Minnesota governor's mansion.

(SOUNDBITE OF ARCHIVED RECORDING)

UNIDENTIFIED MAN #1: (Chanting) No justice.

UNIDENTIFIED CROWD: (Chanting) No sleep.

NELSON: Governor Mark Dayton later told the crowd he'd already reached out to the staff of President Barack Obama, the U.S. attorney general and was asking for help from the Department of Justice.

(SOUNDBITE OF ARCHIVED RECORDING)

DAYTON: I agree that this kind of behavior is unacceptable. It is not the norm in Minnesota.

(APPLAUSE, CROSSTALK)

UNIDENTIFIED MAN #2: It is the norm. It's normal for us.

DAYTON: I promise that I will do everything and my administration will do everything in our power to see that this matter is brought to justice.

NELSON: But the governor's vow seemed to offer little solace to the crowd angered by a series of recent police shootings in neighboring Minneapolis and St. Paul. Pastor Danny Givens, who once served time himself for shooting a police officer, told Dayton the black community was tired of promises.

(SOUNDBITE OF ARCHIVED RECORDING)

DANNY GIVENS: I sat at the table with you. I just want you to put some action on it. Put some respect on our people's name. That's all I want. I just want it to be real. This isn't black anger. This is black grief. This is black pain.

(CHEERING)

NELSON: But for now, that seems to be the only thing that's for sure about Philando Castile's death. For NPR News, I'm Tim Nelson in St. Paul. Transcript provided by NPR, Copyright NPR.