Philando Castile’s Girlfriend Speaks Out: ‘He Took His Last Breath In Front of Us’ (Watch)
*The woman whose boyfriend Philando Castile was fatally shot by a Minnesota police officer Wednesday night has offered more details about the tragedy, her treatment afterward at the police station and the effect this will have on her four-year-old daughter who witnessed the shooting from the back seat.
Speaking in front of the Minnesota governor’s residence in St. Paul this morning, Reynolds spoke out for the first time since she live-streamed the aftermath of Castile’s shooting on Facebook.
“The police did this,” she told the crowd, sobbing. “The police killed him in front of my daughter.”
Reynolds said she was driving with Castile and her daughter from a grocery store in Falcon Heights, a suburb of St. Paul, when police pulled them over for a broken taillight. An officer went to the driver’s side window asked for Castile’s license and registration. At that point Castile notified the officer that he was carrying a gun, Reynolds said.
“I begin to yell, ‘But he’s licensed to carry,’” she told the crowd. “After that, [the officer] begin to take off shots, bop, bop, bop, bop, ‘Don’t move, don’t move!’”
That’s when Reynolds took out her cellphone and started live-streaming on Facebook, she said. The video, which was briefly removed from Facebook but later republished with a warning of graphic content, appears to show Reynolds — sitting in a car with Castile, whose shirt appears soaked in blood — calmly saying an officer shot her boyfriend.
Reynolds said she streamed video of the encounter on Facebook Live so that it would go viral. “I wanted the people to determine who was right and who was wrong,” she said. “I want the people to be the testimonies here.”
Reynolds continued to live-stream for several minutes, even as officers asked her to step out of the car and sit in the back of a police vehicle. She credited her calmness to her 4-year-old daughter.
“My daughter was my lifeline,” she told the crowd outside the governor’s mansion. “My daughter told me to stay strong, and that’s what I had to do. My daughter told me, ‘Don’t cry,’ and that’s what I had to do.”
Reynolds said police detained her and her daughter at the police precinct in Falcon Heights until early this morning. She said the officers seized her cellphone and groceries from the car.
“They separated my daughter from me. They didn’t feed us, and they tried to place the blame like it was something we did,” she said. “I was not released until 5 o’clock this morning, when I arrived at my house with two squad cars.”
Below, Diamond Reynolds details the shooting to reporters outside the police station after she was released from custody: