MINNEAPOLIS (WCCO) – A state representative is criticizing Gov. Mark Dayton for his comments about the fatal shooting of a man by police in Falcon Heights.

Philando Castile was fatally shot by a police officer during a traffic stop Wednesday. After the shooting, Dayton said he does not think Castile would have been shot if he had been white.

Rep. Nick Zerwas (R—District 30A) said Dayton “needs to start bringing people together.”

Following Castile’s death and the death of Alton Sterling during a confrontation with police in Louisiana earlier this week, a protest broke out in Dallas Thursday night. During these protests, 25-year-old Micah Xavier Johnson opened fire on police, killing five and injuring seven more.

Zerwas said that while “Dayton obviously had no way of knowing what was going to happen in Texas,” the governor “just made things worse” by voicing his opinion about the officer’s racial motivations.

“The Governor inflamed an already tenuous situation,” Zerwas said. “His comments contributed to a toxic climate that boiled over last night in Dallas, Texas with the assassination of five police officers.

“We need our governor to bring people together in hard times. He represents all Minnesotans, and as a Governor, what he says is often instantly repeated in news stories around the world. That message needs to be one of peace, prayer, and patience.”

Dayton will speak about the shooting at a press conference at 3 p.m. Friday.

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