An “appalled” Minnesota Gov. Mark Dayton said Thursday that police wouldn’t have shot and killed Philando Castile if he’d been white and called for justice “with the greatest sense of time urgency.”

Castile, who was about to turn 33, was killed Wednesday during a traffic stop in Falcon Heights, a suburb of the Twin Cities. He died at a hospital after the incident, which occurred about 9 p.m. (10 p.m. ET) Wednesday.

The Hennepin County medical examiner’s office said in an autopsy report late Thursday that Castile, 32, died of multiple gunshot wounds. It classified his death as a homicide.

Castile’s fiancée, Diamond Reynolds, recorded the aftermath of the incident on live video. She said Castile was shot five times as he sat at the steering wheel reaching into his back pocket for his ID.

Dayton said Castile would be alive if he hadn’t been black, adding that the shooting demonstrated a troubling pattern of racism among some Minnesota law enforcement officers.

“Would this have happened if those passengers, the driver were white?” he asked. “I don’t think it would have.”

Dayton said he has spoken with Minnesota’s senators, Amy Klobuchar and Al Franken, and the area’s House representatives and would be demanding a Justice Department investigation.

“I can’t say how shocked I am and deeply, deeply offended that this would happen to somebody in Minnesota,” Dayton said grimly. “No one should be shot in Minnesota for a taillight being out of function. No one should be killed in Minnesota while seated in their car.”

The Justice Department is already investigating the Louisiana shooting, and it said Thursday that it was assessing the Minnesota incident.

The St. Anthony Police Department, which covers Falcon Heights, a community of 5,300 people, identified the officer who shot Castile as Jeronimo Yanez, a four-year veteran. He and his partner, Joseph Kauser, also a four-year veteran, were placed on administrative leave, as is standard in such investigations.

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Philando Castile’s Mom, Sister Discuss Deadly Altercation With Police 1:34
Castile had no felony or violent criminal record, but he did have an extensive history of traffic violations, according to extensive interviews and reviews of court records by NBC News.

He had been pulled over and charged at least 31 previous times in Minnesota for traffic-related misdemeanors — from driving without a muffler and without insurance to driving without a license and speeding, according to the data.

“It’s incredibly disturbing. I’m upset as a U.S. citizen,” Mitchell Swaden, a retired public defender who represented Castile in a 2011 traffic case, told NBC News.

Upon arriving in Warsaw, Poland, for a NATO summit, a somber President Barack Obama made a middle-of-the-night statement putting the shooting in the context of a similar incident Tuesday, when Alton Sterling was killed by police in Baton Rouge, La.

“These are not isolated incidents,” Obama said. “They are symptomatic of a broader set of racial inequalities that exist in our criminal justice system.”

Obama said he couldn’t comment on the specifics of the shootings, but he made an impassioned plea for all Americans to recognize that “a big chunk of our citizenry feels that because of the color of their skin that they are not being treated the same.”

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Obama on Police Shootings: All Americans Should be Concerned 2:46
Obama disputed the notion that the explosive issue of police violence was solely a racial matter, calling it “an American issue that we should all care about” and adding: “All fair-minded people should be concerned.”

And he specifically urged that Americans not equate protests with opposition to law enforcement.

“There is no contradiction between us supporting law enforcement … and also saying that there are problems across our criminal justice system,” he said.

“There are biases — some conscious, some unconscious — that have to be rooted out. That’s not an attack on law enforcement. That’s reflective of the values the vast majority of law enforcement brings to the job.”

Castile was a cafeteria supervisor at J.J. Hill Montessori School in St. Paul. Reynolds, his fiancée, described him as a “very, very sweet man” who wasn’t involved with street gangs and wanted only to take care of his family.

Donn O’Malley, chairman of the school’s Parent Teacher Organization, which convened a vigil for Castile on Thursday night, called him a “cherished” member of the community.

IMAGE: Philando Castile vigil
Philando Castile is mourned Thursday at a vigil at J.J. Hill Montessori School in St. Paul, Minn. NBC News
“We entrusted our children to him during the school day, and our children loved him,” O’Malley told NBC News. “When I saw the news this morning and told my children about it, they were sad, confused and immediately started sharing with me how great Phil was.”

The shooting immediately created outrage. Crowds shouting “no justice, no peace” have remained outside the governor’s mansion in protest.

“It’s impossible to see that video and not be shocked and disturbed, but unfortunately, I have seen this horrific scene too many times to be thoroughly shocked,” said Rep. Keith Ellison, D-Minn.

“Sadly, it’s almost routine — African-American man, unarmed or lawfully armed, complying with the police, shot down, killed,” Ellison told NBC News.

“If the shooter was not a police officer, there would clearly be charges, right?” he said. “Without a doubt.”


  1. Simple truth. That’s one of the methods of easing the race tension. ACKNOWLEDGE that it exist, and that the offenses are factual. Good move by a governor.

    Been to Minnesota and where I went the only black I saw was when I flew back out at the airport. Majority somalis wid weight pon dem 😀 smelly, uppity little phuckers to boot! Yip!!! that great black divide that I said will not join the force if push come to shove.

  2. It sickening but one an two ppl caah fight alone, some ppl all ready fi protect di system an dem one deh ago hawd fi deal wid. A nuh now dem hate black ppl suh dat tell Mi say Mi special. An some a dem jancrow a bleach out, white ppl have f**d y’all so much it’s ready to give birth and you don’t want to see it because it’s not pretty. All I can say is get yourself at least one firearm inna yuh yawd an learn fi use it cause it seems like all yuh door soon stawt get kick dung.

  3. It is always the uneducated, tobacco chewing, impotent, inbred, trailer park ones who do not understand economics or international trade. They are the ones that want things to go back to the plantation days! You know why? Their self esteem and self worth comes from seeing black people as slaves.

    Well, i guess they have yet to meet with the God that parted the red sea.

    Let my people go……

    1. You know what else weird about said inbreds? Majority of them roots fall to enslaved/indentured servants! Many of whose 1st females to grace the Americas came here as cocky warmers and breeders.

      The Irish “amerikkkans” I cannot understand how they think they’re superior to blacks when England didn’t even value their lives as much as one Negro slave had value! So damn valuable Insurance company had to be created…while the Irishman could have diseased and starve to death for all they cared…thank God for ships and rebellious slaves or those phuckers would have died out! Here they are as KKK members…. haven’t forgot their NYC ‘Massacre on blacks either.

      **Not to glorify slavery…just contrasting….

      1. So true. Funny how the abused always turn into the abuser. The white people in the U.K always comment about how ‘backwards’ their white counterparts in America are.

  4. Although certain person don’t like me it would have been nice to have their opinion to read…I miss you sometimes :maho

    Troll a not talking you! Most certainly not 😉 then again anyone can turn troll :hammer

      1. :maafaganwati Deadddding…. The Ramgoat reasoning sound when he/she nah buck after we.

        African Woman, like you style of reasoning too.

  5. I don’t condone the shooting of the officers, but I hope police and everybody else who support their unjust actions sit up and take notice. We have sick head too who not going to keep praying and begging yt people to treat us fairly. Dem a tek up dem gun too

  6. And the only reason them a behave so a because the police never white.. Justice yes but him not better.

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