The Minnesota Governor Just Declared The Castile Shooting An Act Of Racism

by Alexandra Svokos

Minnesota Governor Mark Dayton called the police shooting of Philando Castile a racially motivated act on Thursday.

Philando Castile was pulled over while driving — with his girlfriend and her daughter in the car — for a busted tail light. Castile told the officer he was licensed to carry a gun.

While he was reaching for his ID, police officer Jeronimo Yanez, who had been at the St. Anthony Police Department for four years, shot and killed Castile.

His girlfriend, Diamond Reynolds, recorded the aftermath of the shooting in a Facebook Live video that went viral, sparking calls for justice on social media and demonstrations in various cities.

Governor Dayton spoke about the shooting to a crowd on Thursday. He made it clear that he believes the police officer acted on racist impulses. Dayton said,

Would this have happened if those passengers would have been white? I don't think it would have.

Dayton went on to say,

I'm forced to confront — and I think all of us in Minnesota are forced to confront — this kind of racism exists, and that it's incumbent upon all of us to vow that we're going to do whatever we can to see that it doesn't continue to happen.

Protestors gathered outside the governor's home in St. Paul after the shooting.

More photos from outside Minnesota Governor's residence in St. Paul. #PhilandoCastille: — Tony Webster (@webster) July 7, 2016

Governor Dayton called for the US Department of Justice to launch an independent investigation into the shooting like they did for the police shooting of Alton Sterling earlier this week.

Citations: New York Times, Associated Press, NBC