Was Philando Castile the victim of racial profiling?
Castile was stopped by police in Minnesota 52 times since 2002. He was cited for speeding, driving without a muffler and not wearing a seatbelt, but 86 violations were ultimately dismissed.
Over the years, Castile was assessed for at least $6,588 in fines and fees, according to reports.
Georgetown Professor Michael Eric Dyson told CNN Monday about Castile possibly being racially profiled, saying, "it does play into a pattern that other black men have been subjected to."
The NAACP of St. Paul’s chapter president Jeffry Martin told The Huffington Post that many African-Americans are pulled over for: “Things hanging from the rearview mirror, a crack in your windshield that doesn’t obscure your view, a faulty turn signal. There are so many traffic laws on the books that if you cited everyone for all of them, you would write a thousand more tickets a day.”
Castile, 32, was fatally shot last week when police pulled him over. His girlfriend, Lavish “Diamond” Reynolds, posted the aftermath of the shooting on Facebook Live where it gained national attention.
Now, police scanner audio from the officers who pulled Castile over may shed light on the moments leading to his death.
The police were looking for an armed robbery suspect and believed Castile fit the description because he had “shoulder length dreadlocks."
In the audio recording of the police scanner, one officer said to the dispatch: "I’m going to stop a car. I’m going to check IDs. I have reason to pull it over. The two occupants just look like people that were involved in a robbery. The driver looks more like one of our suspects, just 'cause of the wide set nose."
Castile was pulled over for a broken tail light and allegedly told officers he had a permit to carry a firearm that was in the car. He was reaching for his wallet when he was shot four times by Officer Jeronimo Yanez.
Yanez’s lawyer, Thomas Kelly, said on Monday: “Mr. Castile caught the attention of my client. That was one of the reasons he pulled him over."
Following the death of Castile, Minnesota Governor Mark Dayton said he did not believe the driver’s shooting would have happened if he were white.