The murder of Philando Castile likely occurred due to racial profiling by police. Recently released audio of a police dispatch proves that race caused police officers to stop Castile the day he was killed.
According to the audio obtained by KARE 11, the police officer, Jeronimo Yanez, who stopped Castile initially told the dispatcher that he was going to stop the car because he “had reason to pull it over.” Yanez also told the dispatcher that Castile and his girlfriend, Diamond Reynolds, looked like people who were involved in a robbery. Yanez then interjects race into the conversation by saying that Castile fit the description due to his “wide set nose.”
Yanez and police officer Joseph Kauser stopped the car with Castile, Reynolds and her daughter inside. The officers allegedly asked for Castile’s ID. According to Reynolds, Castile told the officers that he had a weapon and a permit to carry. When Castile went to reach for his ID, Yanez shot Castile four times. Reynolds calmly explained the incident and streamed it on Facebook live. Castile died while the stream was live.
The initial audio recording of the police radio traffic reveals how racism played a part in Castile’s death. He was pulled over because the officers believed that he fit the description of another Black man who apparently had a “wide nose.” It was lazy police work, or an overt act of racism that caused a man to lose his life while in the presence of his girlfriend and a young child.
But it was also an incident that was bound to happen due to the racial-profiling that Castile, 32, endured throughout his life while in Minneapolis. Over the past 14 years, Castile was stopped 86 times. However, the offenses were minor counts such as driving without a seatbelt and driving without insurance. Over half of the charges he faced where eventually dropped. The high number of traffic stops without a major conviction proves that he was often profiled by police because of race. According to a poll conducted by the Bureau of Justice Statistics, over 13 percent of Black drivers were pulled over by police compared to 10 percent of White drivers.