A video posted to Facebook late Wednesday evening showed Philando Castile, a 32-year-old black man from Minnesota, bleeding heavily after being shot by a police officer in Falcon Heights, a suburb of St. Paul.
Castile later died in the hospital, according to reports.
The video, which was posted on the Facebook page of Diamond "Lavish" Reynolds, Castile's girlfriend, runs for nearly ten minutes and shows Castile bleeding as a police officer with a gun drawn and pointed at him looks on. Reynolds says the officer shot Castile after being told he had a licensed firearm, but was reaching for his wallet.
The St. Anthony Police Department later announced that Jeronimo Yanez, the officer who shot Castile, had been placed on paid administrative leave. On Saturday, Minneapolis attorney Thomas Kelly, who represents Yanez, said Yanez reacted to the gun, not race.
"This had nothing to do with race. This had everything to do with the presence of a gun," Kelly told the Associated Press.
The entire altercation took place as Reynolds recorded it on her cell phone while her young daughter watched.
In the video, which can be viewed here (warning: graphic), an officer, with his gun still drawn, yells "I told him not to reach for it, I told him to get his hand off it."
Reynolds replies, "You told him to get his I.D., sir. His driver’s license.”
Another officer arrives, and Reynolds is ordered out of the car, before her phone is taken and placed on the ground, with the camera facing the sky.
"Please don't tell me he's gone," she cries. "Please, Jesus, no." She goes on to tell the officers that Castile was simply following their orders when he was shot.
"He's a good man," she says, adding a few minutes later, "The police just shot my boyfriend for no apparent reason."
Castile's mother Valerie Castile told WCCO that her son died at Hennepin County Medical Center in Minneapolis. Friday would have been Castile's 33rd birthday.
Reynolds was reportedly brought in for questioning by the Minnesota Bureau of Criminal Apprehension to talk about what she saw. As of 3:00 AM EST, both the BCA and the St. Anthony Police Department claimed that Reynolds was released, but conflicting reports claimed that she was still in police custody. As Thursday wore on, the hashtag "#WhereIsLavishReynolds" began appearing on Twitter with calls for her release.
Valerie Castile, Castile's mother, spoke to CNN about her son's killing.
"He’s not a gang banger; he’s not a thug,” she said. “He’s very respectable and I know he didn’t antagonize that officer in any way to make him feel like his life was in danger."
She added, "I think he was just black in the wrong place."
Hours after his death at a nearby hospital, groups of people began to gather near the scene where Castile was shot.
And on social media, people reacted to the news of a second black man's death at the hands of police in just two days.
In the early hours of Thursday, the St. Anthony Police Department sent out a press release detailing its official account of the shooting.
"On 07-06-2016 at approximately 2100 hours, a St. Anthony Police Officer effected a traffic stop on Larpenteur and Fry in the City of Falcon Heights, Minnesota. During the stop, shots were fired," the release says. "One adult male was taken to the hospital. We have been informed that this individual is deceased."
The release goes on to mention that a handgun was retrieved from the scene. No officers were injured in the shooting.
The video was initially posted on Reynolds's Facebook page, but temporarily disappeared along with her profile. The video has since been restored, and a Facebook spokesperson said the company is "very sorry that the video was temporarily inaccessible," and attributed the outage to a "technical glitch" which has been fixed.
The restored video has also been marked with a content warning that reads "Videos that contain graphic content can shock, offend and upset. Are you sure you want to see this?"
After hours of being missing, Reynolds resurfaced in a tearful video streamed to Facebook live surrounded by her friends and a swarm of reporters who looked on as she repeated the same story she told the officer who shot her boyfriend.
"The police killed him in front of my daughter. We didn't have to go through this. The police did this to us," she sobbed. "He showed his identification. He was licensed to carry and as he was reaching for his ID in his back pocket, the police [bore] arms."
In response to Castile's death, this morning, Minnesota Governor Mark Dayton called for an independent federal investigation to be carried out by the Department of Justice.
"Overnight, the Bureau of Criminal Apprehension began an independent investigation at the state level. They are currently collecting all necessary evidence, and interviewing witnesses, to determine what happened, and to assure that justice in this case is served," Dayton said. "I will do everything in my power to help protect the integrity of that investigation, to ensure a proper and just outcome for all."
Correction: an earlier version of this story said that Castile and Reynolds had a child together. The girl in the video is Reynolds' daughter.
Charles reports on comics, culture, and general geekery.
Ethan Chiel is a reporter for Fusion, writing mostly about the internet and technology. You can (and should) email him at firstname.lastname@example.org