Politics

Fatal Police Shootings Caught on Video Prompt Calls for Justice Department Investigations

House members from Minnesota and Louisiana demand action

Protesters block traffic near a Baton Rouge, Louisiana, convenience store where a fatal police shooting was caught on video Tuesday. The Justice Department also has been asked to investigate another fatal police shooting in suburban St. Paul, Minnesota, Wednesday evening. (Mark Wallheiser/Getty Images)

A deadly police shooting of a man apparently reaching for his wallet during a traffic stop — that has since been widely seen on social media — has prompted a Minnesota congresswoman to call for a Justice Department investigation.  

Philando Castile was shot and killed Wednesday evening by police in Falcon Heights, Minnesota.  His girlfriend, Lavisha Reynolds, streamed the aftermath of the incident live on Facebook . Castile, 32, died later that night at a Minneapolis hospital.  

It was the second controversial police shooting caught on video in as many days. Police in Baton Rouge, Louisiana, fatally shot a man outside a convenience store on Tuesday. A Justice Department investigation into that incident is already underway.  

“My deepest sympathies are with Mr. Castile’s family, loved ones, and friends," Minnesota Rep. Betty McCollum said in a statement . "I have watched the video of this incident circulating online. It is profoundly disturbing." Falcon Heights is located within McCollum's 4th District.  

McCollum said a federal investigation would reveal the facts surrounding the incident "and ensure accountability appropriate to those facts."  

She noted that the shooting prompted an "outpouring of citizens protesting this incident" and called for protesters and police to "ensure that calm prevails in our community."

Castile was pulled over for a broken taillight. Reynolds said in the video that her boyfriend told the police officer that he had a license for a concealed weapons permit.  The officer allegedly shot Castile as he was reaching for his wallet.   

“You told him to get his ID, sir, his driver’s license,” Reynolds is heard telling the officer on the video.  

On Wednesday, Louisiana Rep. Cedric L. Richmond called for a Justice Department inquiry  into the fatal police shooting of a man in Baton Rouge, Louisiana, on Tuesday. An FBI spokesman has confirmed that an investigation  into the death of Alton Sterling outside a convenience store is underway.  

Video  of that incident also has been widely viewed on social media.

Contact Smith at  jeremysmith@cqrollcall.com   and follow him on Twitter  @JeremySilkSmith .

Get breaking news alerts and more from Roll Call on your iPhone or your Android.