Family and friends of Paul Castaway held a protest outside of police headquarters in Denver, Colorado, on July 14. Photo by Delane Black Elk / Facebook
Family and friends of an Indian man who was shot and killed by a police officer in Denver, Colorado, held a protest on Tuesday amid conflicting accounts of the incident. Police say 35-year-old Paul Castaway, who was Oglala Lakota, was armed with a knife. He allegedly threatened officers before he was killed on Sunday evening. But family members say a surveillance video paints a different picture. Castaway was holding the knife to his own neck before he was shot.
Family members gather at the protest. Photo from Last Real Indians / Facebook
“He was probably trying to figure out a place to run. And they didn’t let him go. They trapped him like a mouse and they killed him,” Rick Morado, who is Castaway's cousin, told FOX31. FOX31 reporter Tammy Vigil watched the video and said it also does not appear to show Castaway threatening the officers. The video is in the hands of a mobile home park where the incident occurred. A 15-year-old boy witnessed the shooting and also described a similar scene. He told The Denver Post that Castaway was holding the knife to his neck before he was shot. Castaway asked the officers, "What's wrong with you guys?" after being shot, the boy told the Post.
Paul Castaway. Photo from Facebook
The incident began when Lillian Castaway, Paul's mother, called police from the family's home. Her son was allegedly threatening her but she insists she wasn't injured. "It deeply saddens me, because he didn't need to die. I just want justice for my son," Lillian told 9News. The officer who shot Castaway has been placed on leave, according to news reports. Get the Story:
Lakota Man Shot by Denver Police Asked Police: “What’s Wrong with You Guys?” (Native News Online 7/15)
Family, witnesses say video shows different version of police shooting (The Denver Post 7/15)
Protest after man killed by Denver police (9 News 7/14)
Witnesses, surveillance video provide conflicting information in deadly police shooting (FOX31 7/14)
Medical examiner identifies man shot, killed by Denver police officer (The Denver Post 7/14)
Suspect armed with long knife shot by DPD officer (9News 7/13)
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