FALCON HEIGHTS, Minn. (CBSNewYork/AP) — The governor of Minnesota doesn’t believe a black man fatally shot by police during a traffic stop would have been killed if he were white.
Gov. Mark Dayton stressed Thursday that not all facts are known in the shooting death of 32-year-old Philando Castile, but nonetheless called it a senseless death that was apparently fueled in some part by racism.
“Nobody should be shot and killed in Minnesota for a tail light being out of function,” he said. “Would this have happened if those passengers would have been white? I don’t think it would have.”
Dayton said at a news conference in St. Paul that he thinks the police response was “way over” what was called for when the officer shot Castile several times as he sat in his car Wednesday in the St. Paul suburb of Falcon Heights.
Dayton, a Democrat, said nobody should be killed for a broken taillight or while sitting in their car and that he was “deeply, deeply offended” by Castile’s death.
Dayton asked the Justice Department to open an investigation into the shooting, but the agency said it planned to monitor the state probe and would provide assistance if needed.
The Minnesota Bureau of Criminal Apprehension had opened an investigation.
Castile’s girlfriend, Diamond Reynolds, broadcast the aftermath of the shooting from inside the car on Facebook.
It was the second fatal police shooting this week, coming only days after a black 37-year-old man was killed by officers in Baton Rouge, Louisiana. Alton Sterling’s death was caught on video.
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