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Black man dies in new US police shooting

A black man has been shot dead by police in the US state of Minnesota as protests continued over the police killing of a black man in Louisiana.

right, Philando Castile (Facebook photo) left, Facebook Live video screen capture of Castile after being shot by police
Right, Philando Castile (Facebook photo) left, Facebook Live video screen capture of Castile after being shot by police

Philando Castile’s girlfriend live-streamed the St Paul incident’s aftermath, showing him covered in blood as an officer pointed his gun at him.

He was shot as he reached for his driving licence, she said.

It follows the death of Alton Sterling, who was shot dead by police during an incident in Baton Rouge on Tuesday.

Hundreds of people have protested for two nights over Mr Sterling’s killing.

The deaths follow a long line of high-profile incidents involving African-Americans at the hands of the police, igniting a national debate about the lethal use of force.

Mr Castile had been stopped in Falcon Heights, a suburb of St Paul, because the car had a broken rear light, the woman, identified in local media reports as Lavish Reynolds, said.

Before he was shot, he told the officer that he was licensed to carry a concealed gun and had one in his possession, she said.

“You shot four bullets into him, sir. He was just getting his license and registration, sir,” Ms Reynolds says in the video.

A child, Ms Reynolds’s daughter, was also in the car at the time.

Police said an investigation was under way and the officer involved had been put on leave.

Mr Castile, 32, worked as a cafeteria supervisor at a Montessori school. His cousin Antonio Johnson told the Star Tribune newspaper he was “immediately criminally profiled” because he was black.

About 200 people have been protesting outside State Governor Mark Dayton’s mansion in St Paul.

In Baton Rouge, hundreds of people gathered for a second night of protests at the shop where Alton Sterling, a 37-year-old father of five, was killed on Tuesday.

Some demonstrators chanted “Black lives matter” and called for justice.

The BBC’s Laura Bicker in Baton Rouge said there was real anger but also despair and a feeling among some that the fight for equality might never be won.

Police killings that scar the US

Walter Scott – unarmed and shot in the back as he ran away from an officer in Charleston, South Carolina, in April 2015. Former officer Michael Slager facing murder charge

Laquan McDonald – 17-year-old was holding a knife but appeared to be moving away from police in Chicago when shot 16 times in 2014. Officer Jason Van Dyke denies murder charge

Michael Brown – 18-year-old shot at least seven times in Ferguson, Missouri, in August 2014, sparking nationwide protests. Officer Darren Wilson cleared of wrongdoing

Eric Garner – died after being placed in a chokehold by New York police while selling cigarettes in July 2014. Grand jury decides against charges, police disciplinary action taken against supervising officer Sgt Kizzy Adonis.

Video emerged on Wednesday appearing to show Mr Sterling being held down and then shot several times, although some shots are heard when the camera moves away from the confrontation.

Seconds later, one of the officers is seen removing an object from the man’s trousers as he lies on the ground with blood on his chest.

The officers involved, Blane Salamoni and Howie Lake II, have been put on administrative leave and the US department of justice has launched a civil rights investigation. BBC


Use of lethal force

  • Officers can only justify firing their weapons at civilians if they fear the loss of life or limb
  • Other options include verbal commands, use of empty hands to control a suspect, and use of less lethal weapons such as batons or pepper spray
  • A 1982 Supreme Court case found it was illegal to shoot at fleeing felons
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