In a late afternoon press conference today (July 7), Minnesota Governor Mark Dayton described last night’s fatal police shooting of Philando Castile during a traffic stop as racism.
"Would this have happened if the driver and the passengers had been White? I don’t think so. I don’t think it would have. So I’m forced to confront—and all of us in Minnesota are forced to confront—that this kind of racism exists," he said in a WWOC video posted by CNN. (See the CNN clip without a commercial here.)
This was the governor’s second official statement about the Castille killing today.
This morning he posted a terse statement announcing that the DOJ would conduct an independent investigation. He said the state’s Bureau of Criminal Apprehension began its own independent probe "overnight." He made the statement at an Minnesota NAACP-led press conference in front of the Governor’s Mansion in St. Paul.
Pastor Danny Givens of Above Every Name Ministries shouted at the governor that he’d been to the mansion multiple times for the same reason:
“This is the third time I’ve been to this mansion because of my people being murdered,” he said in a video posted by ABC News. "I’ve been to your house because your people keep killing my people."
Givens added, “I just want you to put some action on it, put some respect on our people’s names. That’s all I want. I just want it to be real. This isn’t Black anger. This is Black grief.”
Protestors amassed in front of the governor’s mansion soon after the shooting and stayed overnight. The number was at about 200 early this morning, according to The Daily Beast. At press time, 6 p.m. ET, a crowd remains there.