Filed under: Indigenous, Midwest, Police
Denver police caught telling key lies about their fatal shooting of Paul Castaway.
On Sunday, July 12th, Castaway, a 35-year-old Native American, was brutally shot and killed by police.
Castaway’s mother, Lynn Eagle Feather, says she called the police for help after her son threatened her with a knife, telling cops he was mentally ill.
Police Chief Robert White said at a news conference after the shooting that investigators believed Castaway had stabbed his mother in the neck before he was killed.
Police allege Castaway charged at them with the knife.
— koda ? #Give_me_more (@citruscheol) July 15, 2015
This much we know:
“He didn’t stab me in the neck. He was drunk. I told the cops he was mentally ill. He was schizophrenic. I called for help. I didn’t call for them to kill him,” Eagle Feather said.
Her son ran toward Capitol City mobile home park across the street.
“All of a sudden, I heard rapid gunfire. Boom. Boom. Boom. Boom. One right after the other,” she said.
Speaking to Indian Country Today, Eagle Feather said the police shooting was racially motivated.
“I want justice for my son. I want those cops to be reprimanded. These Denver cops love to kill Natives. They love to kill people of color here,” she told Indian Country Today.
Immediately after the shooting, though, police began telling lies about what happened.
First off, we have this.
It never happened.
Below is a photo of Paul’s mother, who wasn’t stabbed at all, at a protest rally for him 48 hours later.
It was reported that police had said that “Castaway had stabbed his mother in her neck” but the wording was later changes to “he had threatened her with the knife.”
The family of Castaway, protests outside Denver police headquarters.
Castaway’s family gathered outside Denver Police Department headquarters early last Tuesday, evening to protest the shooting.
Afterward, a group of about 40 protesters marched from the station, along the 16th Street Mall to Union Station. Two protesters were arrested, police said: One woman for failure to obey a lawful order and one man for interference/pedestrian in a roadway.
— Denver Action Net (@Aut0nomous) July 15, 2015
Surveillance video conflicts information in deadly shooting.
The manager of Capital City mobile home park at 4501 W. Kentucky Ave. has the video. He wouldn’t give it to FOX31 Denver, but he did show it to reporter Tammy Vigil.
Eyewitnesses at the mobile-home park where the incident occurred contradicted the police account and alleged instead that Castaway was holding the knife to his own neck.
The video reviewed by the reporter appears to back up those witnesses.
Video: Surveillance Video Conflicts Information in Paul Castaway police shooting
“It shows [Castaway] coming up from behind a white mobile home, through a black iron fence onto the street and around a wooden fence, which is a dead end,” writes Tammy Vigil, the KDVR reporter who viewed the recording. “He then turned back around onto the street with a knife to his neck the whole time, when an officer shoots him.”
“The video,” she wrote, “seems to not match what police say happened.”
“What’s wrong with you guys? Those are the last words uttered from Castaway’s mouth as he lie there dying,” said Thomas Morado, a cousin of Castaway’s.
Castaway was taken to Denver Health Medical Center in critical condition. He died at the hospital.
The killing of Castaway was met with outrage online.
— elisabeth (@elisabeth) July 13, 2015
— Anonymous (@YourAnonNews) July 17, 2015
"What's wrong with you guys?" were the last words of #PaulCastaway. Not sure a more profound question could be asked of America's police.
— Black Lives Matter (@drumbeats4peace) July 15, 2015
Indian Country Today is reporting, while the family seeks justice for Castaway, they are also caught planning and funding his funeral and burial.
In response, supporters have launched a crowdfunding page for the family of Castaway.