Police scanner recordings obtained by a local Minneapolis news station reveals that St. Anthony police officers pulled over Philando Castile not because of a busted tail light but because he looked similar to a robbery suspect due to his “wide nose.” The startling dispatch recording indicates that not only was Castile seemingly racially profiled for his “wide nose,” his girlfriend says that officers lied when they claimed the stop was for a tail light that was out as the tail light was seen functioning in other videos taken at the scene of the incident.
KARE11 reports that police scanner audio captured just moments before Philando Castile would be gunned down by a St. Anthony police officer reveals the real reason that the vehicle was pulled over and it had nothing to do with a tail light. In fact, the audio seems to indicate that Castile was pulled over because he had a “wide nose” which looked similar to a robbery suspect that the police were looking for that day.
In the damning audio, the officer can be heard telling a dispatcher that he is going to pull over a vehicle and check IDs on the occupants because the driver looks like “people that were involved in a robbery.”
“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.'”
Just a minute and a half after the officer says he is going to pull over the vehicle, an officer relays to dispatch that “Shots fired Larpenteur and Fry.” The St. Anthony Police Department refused to verify the dispatch recording for KARE11, but the news station notes that the license plate indicated in the recording matched that of Castile’s and that it was sent into dispatch just a minute and a half before the “shots fired” was reported to dispatch. Therefore, the news station notes that all evidence suggests that the call is authentic.
In a public statement made by Castile’s girlfriend Diamond “Lavish” Reynolds, who was also in the car and videoed the horrifying aftermath of the officer-involved shooting, it was noted that police indicated at the time of the stop that the vehicle was being pulled over for a “busted tail light.” However, Reynolds notes that the tail light was in working order and video taken of the vehicle at the scene backs up her story.
In addition to pulling Castile’s vehicle over despite no traffic violations, video taken moments after the officer shot Castile shows Reynolds calmly telling officers that her boyfriend was only complying with orders to get his driver’s license when he was unjustly shot. The video of the moments following the shooting are graphic and show Castile bleeding to death in the car as Reynolds is told not to move as an officer held a gun pointed at the dying man.
Warning: Video below contains graphic content and may not be suitable for all viewers.
The officer who shot Castile has been identified by the Daily Mail as Officer Jeronimo Yanez and his partner that was present at the time of the shooting was Officer Joseph Kauser. Both have been placed on paid leave while an investigation is underway.
With the new dispatch recording seemingly backing up Reynolds account that the pair were not pulled over for a busted tail light but rather because they looked like two robbery suspects due to Castile’s “wide nose,” should the officers involved in the shooting also be charged with additional crimes for lying to the vehicle occupants about the reason for the traffic stop? Do you think the officer that shot Castile will be charged given that the victim’s girlfriend was able to capture the moments just after the shooting?
[Photo by Jim Mone/AP Photo]