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Police killing of Philando Castile sparks protests, calls for investigations

Protests at governor’s mansion; Dayton calls for state and federal investigations; Obama, Clinton react; and more.

Diamond Reynolds weeps at a rally outside the Governor's Residence after she recounts the incidents that led to the fatal shooting of her boyfriend, Philando Castile, by St. Anthony police officers.
REUTERS/Eric Miller

The killing by St. Anthony police of Philando Castile in Falcon Heights dominated the morning’s headlines, both locally and nationally. Here are some of the stories and statements:

Gov. Dayton called for both federal and state-level investigations of the shooting. KSTP’s Dave Aeikens reports: “Gov. Mark Dayton called the death of Philando Castile a ‘tragedy’ and called for federal and state investigations into the matter. … Dayton made the comments Thursday morning at a Minneapolis NAACP news conference in front of the Governor’s Residence in St. Paul. … ‘My deepest condolences go out to the family and friends on behalf of all decent-minded Minnesotans, which is almost all of us in the state,’ Dayton said. ‘We are shocked and horrified. (This is) a horrible, horrible tragedy.’”

MPR put together a collection of photos showing protests in the immediate aftermath of the shooting and this morning: “As news of the shooting spread, some 200 protesters gathered at one point near the site while authorities pursued the investigation, searching for evidence in and around the car. … By 2:15 a.m. Thursday, protesters had gathered outside the governor’s residence on Summit Avenue in St. Paul. They chanted ‘No Justice, no peace! Prosecute the police! Wake up!’ ”

Also at MPR, Bob Collins poses an interesting question regarding videos like the one showing Castile dying: “A video showing the scene at the killing of Philando Castile had — at last check — been removed from Facebook (update: it’s restored), but not before it had already spread worldwide. … Alton Sterling died on the ground in Baton Rouge on Tuesday at the hands of police. He was selling CDs when he was wrestled to the ground and shot because he had a gun in his pocket. A video captured it all. … Should we watch it?

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Relatedly, Motherboard considers the implications of Facebook being the arbiter of whether we can see videos like this at all.

Castile’s girlfriend, Diamond Reynolds, spoke at a rally in front of the governor’s mansion Thursday morning. WCCO reports: “‘The police killed him in front of my daughter,’ Diamond Reynolds said. … Castile, Reynolds and her 4-year-old daughter were in a vehicle in Falcon Heights that was pulled over by police for a broken tail light. Reynolds said Thursday the tail light was not broken.”

St. Paul Public Schools, where Castile worked, released a statement: “Saint Paul Public Schools and its staff grieve the tragic death of a former student and current employee, Philando Castile. … He graduated from Central High School in 2001 and had worked for Saint Paul Public Schools (SPPS) since he was 19 years old, beginning in 2002, in the Nutrition Services Department. … One coworker said, ‘Kids loved him. He was smart, over-qualified. He was quiet, respectful, and kind. I knew him as warm and funny; he called me his “wing man.” He wore a shirt and tie to his supervisor interview and said his goal was to one day “sit on the other side of this table.” ’ ”

St. Anthony Police put out a pretty nonspecific statement:

According to the Washington Post, 509 people, including Castile, have been killed by police in 2016 so far.

Looking just at Minnesota, the Star Tribune notes 148 fatal encounters with police since 2000 (and seven in 2016). 

President Obama expressed concern about this killing and one that occurred earlier this week in Baton Rouge, per the AP: “ The White House says President Barack Obama is ‘deeply disturbed’ by reports of police shootings in Baton Rouge, Louisiana, and suburban St. Paul, Minnesota. … White House spokesman Josh Earnest says Obama is following the situations closely. But he tells journalists aboard Air Force One that the White House can’t comment more specifically while the cases are being investigated.”

Democratic presidential candidate Hillary Clinton tweeted about the news:

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In other news…

In light of former Fox News host (and Minnesotan) Gretchen Carlson’s sexual harassment suit against chairman Roger Ailes, Bloomberg Politics compiled a video of the many, many times Carlson’s male co-hosts on Fox and Friends commented upon her looks.

Controversy over Islamophobia at Lavender magazine: “Petition launched against Lavender Magazine over claims of white-washing, anti-Muslim bias” [The]

A cyclist originally from Minneapolis was killed by a motorist in New York City. [New York Times]

There’s not a violin tiny enough: “For-profit colleges in Minnesota face new challenges” [MPR]

Should’ve been recalled for false advertising because they DON’T HOVER: “Hoverboards recalled after Klobuchar push” [Brainerd Dispatch]

What’s this Rain Belt beer? “Grain Belt beer sign damaged in storm” [KARE]

The Frugal Traveler discovers St. Paul’s awesome Hmong food. [New York Times]

According to the Awl’s very unscientific survey, Minnesota is the tenth most expensive state for a pack of cigarettes.