The headline “man shot and killed by police officers” has been all over the news lately. Just a day after Alton Sterling was shot and killed by a police officer, Philando Castile was also shot and killed by a police officer during what Bustle claims should have been a routine traffic stop.
As more information is being uncovered about Philando Castile after his death, it has been revealed by Associated Press that these traffic stops really did feel like routine to Philandro. In fact, Castile has been pulled over by police at least 52 separate times in recent years. Most of these traffic stops were for minor traffic violations including not wearing a seat belt and speeding. Following the aftermath of Philando Castile being shot and killed by a police officer in the front seat of his own car, Bustle reports there is growing speculation regarding whether or not Philando Castile has repeatedly been the victim of racial profiling. If police have been racially profiling Philando, is racial profiling the reason he has passed away?
On July 6, Philando Castile was shot and killed by police in Minnesota during a traffic stop. pic.twitter.com/Mn07Np5HC3— CNN (@CNN) July 9, 2016
It has been reported that Castile was pulled over in a suburb on Wednesday with his girlfriend Diamond Reynolds and her 4-year-old daughter in the vehicle because his taillight was broken. The question is, how did something as minor as a broken taillight result in Philando Castile getting shot in the chest four times by the police officer?
Philando Castile has a gun in his vehicle as well. He was licensed to carry the weapon with him. According to his girlfriend, Philando Castile told the police officer he was licensed to carry and there was a gun in the vehicle. Bustle reports this is standard protocol for anyone who is a licensed firearm holder when they get pulled over by a police officer. Any time a police officer pulls you over, you need to immediately make them aware of any weapons on your person or in your vehicle.
Unfortunately, there is some discrepancy in just how many times Castile has been pulled over by police officers as NBC News reported he had been pulled over 31 times since the early 2000s. Whether he was pulled over 30 times or 50 times, however, the fact that he has been pulled over multiple times a year for minor traffic infractions remains a fact.
What went so wrong during this traffic stop that caused Philando Castile to be shot in the chest four times? Considering how many times this man has been pulled over by cops in the last two decades, shouldn’t it have been a routine he knew well? Furthermore, why were the cops so fixated on pulling over Philando Castile in the first place?
The governor of Minnesota, Mark Dayton has said what a lot of other people are thinking – Philando Castile was a victim of racial profiling. Dayton believes this man was pulled over by cops and then shot and killed simply because he was a black man.
“Would this have happened if those passengers, the driver were white? I don’t think it would have.”
The governor, however, wasn’t done there. “No one should be shot in Minnesota for a taillight being out of function. No one should be killed in Minnesota while seated in their car.”
KARE 11 got ahold of a police scanner recording which revealed Castile might have been pulled over because they thought he looked like a robbery suspect. The officer on the recording said the driver had a “wide set nose” similar to the robbers.
Clarence Castile, Philando’s uncle, claimed the killing was obviously racial profiling. “I just thought it was kind of insane to pull somebody over saying they matched a robbery suspect by having flared nostrils.”
According to Diamond, the officer that pulled over Philando did not mention anything about a robbery – just the taillight.
Do you think Philando Castile deserved to be shot in the chest four times by cops? Do you think he was the victim of racial profiling?
[Both Images via Stephen Maturen/Getty Images]