While technology goes a long way toward alerting the world that state violence against Black people in America is a very real issue, it’s getting increasingly more difficult to bear witness to these deaths.
If you are avoiding video, but want to know exactly what happened after a Minnesota police officer fatally shot Philando Castile on July 6, the Minneapolis StarTribune transcribed the video his girlfriend, Lavisha “Diamond” Reynolds posted (she is referred to as “Lavish” below, which is the name used on her Facebook profile). Read the transcript below.
Lavish Reynolds: Stay with me. We got pulled over for a busted tail light in the back and the police he’s he’s he’s covered [inaudible] they killed my boyfriend. He’s licensed he’s carried so he’s licensed to carry. He was trying to get out his ID and his wallet out his pocket and he let the officer know that he was that he had a firearm and he was reaching for his wallet and the officer just shot him in his arm.
Officer: Ma’am, keep your hands where they are.
Reynolds: I will sir, no worries, I will.
Officer: [Yells expletive.]
Reynolds: He just got his arm shot off. We got pulled over on Larpenteur.
Officer: I told him not to reach for it. I told him to get his head up.
Reynolds: He had, you told him to get his ID, sir, his driver’s license. Oh my god please don’t tell me he’s dead.
Reynolds: Please don’t tell me my boyfriend just went like that.
Officer: Keep your hands where they are please.
Reynolds: Yes I will, sir. I will keep my hands where they are. Please don’t tell me this Lord please Jesus don’t tell me that he’s gone. Please don’t tell me that he’s gone. Please officer, don’t tell me that you just did this to him. You shot four bullets into him, sir. He was just getting his license and registration, sir.
Officer: Get the female passenger out.
Other officer: Ma’am exit the car right now with your hands up. Let me see your hands. Exit now. Keep ‘em up, keep ‘em up.
Reynolds: Where’s my daughter? You got my daughter?”
Other officer: Face away from me and walk backwards. Walk backwards towards me. Keep walking. Keep walking. Keep walking. Get on your knees. Get on your knees. Ma’am you’re just being detained right now until we get this all sorted out OK?
Reynolds: They threw my phone Facebook. Please don’t tell me Lord Jesus please don’t tell me [inaudible].
Officer: Let me see your purse. You have any weapons or anything?
Reynolds: No. Please don’t tell me my boyfriend is gone. You can take it off my hand. Please don’t tell me he’s gone. Please Jesus no. Please no. Please no don’t let him be gone Lord.
Reynolds: He told him to get his license and registration. He told him he was licensed to carry and that he had his gun on him and then he started shooting. He started shooting for no reason.
Reynolds: His wallet and license and registration you told him to get it, sir. You told him and he tried to tell you he had a license to carry and was gonna take it off. Please don’t tell me my boyfriend’s gone. He don’t deserve this. Please. He’s a good man he works for St. Paul Public school. He doesn’t have no record of anything. He’s never been in jail anything. He’s not a gang member anything.
Reynolds: [inaudible] and that you cover him Lord. That you allow him to still be here with us Lord. Still with me [inaudible] Lord. Please Lord wrap your arms around him. Please Lord make sure that he’s OK, breathing Lord. [inaudible] Please Lord you know our rights Lord you know we are innocent people Lord. We are innocent people. We are innocent. My four-year-old [inaudible]
Reynolds: Could you please get my phone for me?
Other officer: I’ll talk to my supervisor.
Reynolds: It’s right there it’s on the floor. It’s right there.
Other officer: Could you just stand here sweetie?
Child: I want to get my mommy’s purse.
Other officer: I’ll take care of that OK? Just stand right here for me.
Reynolds: Stay right here. Before you take the handcuffs off of me can you [inaudible]
Other officer: Can you search her before [inaudible]? I can’t it’s got to be processed OK?
Reynolds: Come here (to child).
Other officer: Is that your phone?
Reynolds: We’re in the back seat of the police car. [inaudible] call me the police just shot my boyfriend for no apparent reason. My phone is about to die. They shot him. He shot him three times because we had a busted tail light. He asked him for license and registration he told him that it was in his wallet but he had a pistol on him because he’s licensed to carry and the officer told him don’t move and as he was putting his hands back up the officer shot him in his arm about four or five times. I’m on Larpenteur and Fry. Whoever can come to Larpenteur and Fry that’s where I’m at. I’m gonna need a ride home. We’re on Larpenteur and Fry. [inaudible] if you can come to Larpenteur and Fry we’re right here in Roseville. Got the Roseville Police they got me handcuffed, my phone is about to die. I’m on Larpenteur and Fry and the Roseville Police Department just shot my boyfriend. They shot him four times. He’s licensed to carry. We had a busted tail light. And we had some weed in the car that’s about it.
It was a Chinese police officer that shot him. He’s Chinese he’s about 5.5, 5.6-1/2, heavy set guy. He asked him for his license and registration which was in the back of his pocket because he keeps his wallet in his pocket. And as he went to reach he let the officer know before he was reaching that he had a firearm on him and before he can let the officer know anything the officer took off shots. About 4 or 5 rounds were shot and my boyfriend I don’t know what condition he’s in. I don’t know if he’s OK or if he’s not OK. I’m in the back seat of the police car, in the back seat of the police car handcuffed. I need a ride. I’m on Larpenteur and Fry they’ve got machine guns pointed.
Reynolds: Don’t be scared. My daughter just witnessed this. The police just shot him for no apparent reason. No reason at all. They asked for license and registration. That’s the police officer over there that did it with the black on. I can’t really do shit because they have me handcuffed.
Child: It’s OK mommy.
Reynolds: I can’t believe they just did this I’m [expletive] [screams].
Child: It’s OK, I’m right here with you.
Reynolds: Y’all please pray for us Jesus please y’all. I ask everybody on Facebook everybody that’s watching everybody that’s tuned in please pray for us. Sister I know I just dropped you off but I need you to pick me up I need [inaudible] to call my phone.