Protest calm over Minnesota police shooting

2016-07-09 17:35
Hundreds of protesters take to the streets in Phoenix to march against the recent fatal shootings of black men. (Ross D Franklin, AP)

Hundreds of protesters take to the streets in Phoenix to march against the recent fatal shootings of black men. (Ross D Franklin, AP)

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St Paul - Minnesota's capital kept its cool entering a third straight day of protests over the killing of a black man at the hands of police, with demonstrators encamped outside the governor's mansion looking set for the long haul.

Authorities in St Paul had reported just a single arrest of someone who had been in a crowd that at one point numbered 1 500 people, there to demand justice in the death of 32-year-old school cafeteria supervisor Philando Castile during a suburban traffic stop.

Governor Mark Dayton, who came out of his home several times to meet the protesters, said that he endorsed their right to be there and had no intention of ordering them removed.

Castile was shot several times "for no apparent reason" while reaching for his wallet, after telling the officer he had a gun and a permit to carry it, his girlfriend said as she streamed the immediate aftermath live on Facebook.

Lives matter

Ramsey County Prosecutor John Choi said on Friday that the Facebook video was part of what he hoped would be a "prompt and thorough investigation" by the state into Castile's killing late on Wednesday.

The following night, five police officers were fatally shot and others were wounded during protests in Dallas over Castile's killing and the fatal police shooting of 37-year-old black man Alton Sterling in Baton Rouge, Louisiana, after a scuffle with officers outside a convenience store.

Authorities identified the Dallas shooter as an Army veteran, who was later killed by police.

Sterling's and Castile's families have denounced the Dallas officers' killings.

"My son would not have approved of the shootings," Valerie Castile said "because he believed that all lives matter."


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