10 Things You Should Know About The Tragic Police Shooting Of Philando Castile

Not again. That is the collective sentiment today after another young African-American male seems to have been senselessly killed by police officers. 

By Benjamin H. Smith

Not again. That is the collective sentiment today after another young African-American male seems to have been senselessly killed by police officers.  Philando Castile was the victim of a police shooting after the car he was in was pulled over for a minor traffic violation. Yes, he had a gun, but told officers at the outset and according to his girlfriend had a legal concealed carry permit. When Castile followed orders to show the officers his driver’s license, one of the two cops overreacted, fatally shooting Philando four times. He died from his wounds soon after. Philando’s girlfriend began live streaming the incident on Facebook Live immediately following the incident. No charges have been filed yet against the officers but state officials have asked for a federal investigation. Here’s what we know so far about this tragic shooting.

1. Philando Castile Grew Up In The Greater St. Paul / Minneapolis area.

According to family members, Philando was a good student in the honors program at St. Paul Central High School. He later attended the University of Minnesota.

2. He Worked In Food Services At A Local High School

Castile worked as the Nutrition Services Supervisor in the cafeteria at the J.J. Hill Montessori School in St. Paul. He was well liked by the students and staff and had worked in the St. Paul Public School District since 2002, starting when he was 19.

3. He Had No Criminal Record

Philando Castile’s only interactions with the law prior to his shooting death were a series of minor traffic violations, all misdemeanors.

4. His Car Was Pulled Over For A Broken Taillight

In the Facebook Live video she began filming after Castile was shot by police, Philando’s girlfriend Lavish Reynolds says the couple were stopped for having a “busted taillight in the back.”

5. He Had A Gun In The Car

After being pulled over, Philando Castile informed police officers he had a firearm with him. According to Lavish Reynolds, Castile had a Concealed Carry Permit. In order to obtain one the state of Minnesota, an individual must not be a “listed in the criminal gang investigation system” and must complete a certified firearms training course.

6. This Is The First Time A Police Shooting Has Been Filmed On Facebook Live

Lavish Reynolds began live streaming the shooting immediately after police shot Philando Castile yesterday around 9 p.m.  Castile was reaching for his ID, which Reynolds said he had been instructed to do by one of the officers. The officer can be heard in the background in near hysterics saying ““I told him not to reach for it. I told him to get his hands up.” Reynolds shows remarkable calm, responding, “You told him to get his ID sir, his driver’s license.” Facebook briefly removed the video but later reposted it with a warning of graphic content.

7. The Officer Who Shot Philando Castile Has Been Identified

Officials have named Jeronimo Yanez as the police officer involved in the shooting. He worked for the St. Anthony Police Department, which provides law enforcement services for the city of Falcon Heights, just north west of St. Paul.

8. So Far This Year 1,134 Have Died At The Hands Of Law Enforcement

According to an in depth study by British newspaper The Guardian, young African-American men are 9 times more likely to be killed by the police than other ethnic groups. 

9. No Criminal Charges Have Been Filed Against The Officers At This Time

Since fatally shooting Philando Castile, Blane Salamoni and Howie Lake II have been placed on administrative leave pending an investigation. Minnesota Governor Mark Dayton, a Democrat, has requested a federal Justice Department investigation from the White House. Minnesota’s state Bureau of Criminal Apprehension is already investigating the incident.

10. Philando Castile Would Have Turned 33 Next Week

Philando Castile was born on July 16th, 1983. His 33rd birthday would have occurred a week from this coming Saturday. 

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