Philando Castile’s Driving Record Suggests He Was Frequently Racially Profiled

A closer look at slain Minnesota man Philando Castile’s driving record suggests that he was frequently racially profiled by police.

The Huffington Post reports that Castile, who was fatally shot by a police officer during a routine traffic stop last week, had violated 50 violations while driving in the last 15 years.

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“[Castile’s death] shows that when you allow racial profiling to continue to exist and grow, you don’t get a reduction in crime and an increase in public safety,” NAACP chapter president Jeffry Martin told the Huffington Post. “You just get an increase in African-American contact with the police for minor incidents.”

According to the NAACP, 80 to 90 percent of traffic stops that take place in the area where Castile was killed involve Black residents.

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“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,” Martin said.

Castile was driving with his fiancée and 4-year-old daughter when he was pulled over by Officer Jeronimo Yanez for a broken taillight, though audio from the arrest suggests that Yanez believed he looked like a robbery suspect (“The driver looks more like one of our suspects, just because of the wide-set nose,” Yanez said). 

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Castile informed Yanez that he was legally carrying a gun, but he was going to reach into his pocket to fetch his license. It was then that Yanez opened fire, striking him in the arm. Castile’s fiancée, Diamond Reynolds, captured the aftermath on Facebook Live.

“He was reaching for his wallet and the officer just shot him in his arm,” Reynolds said in the video. “He shot his arm off.” 

Castile later died at a nearby hospital. Yanez has been placed on paid administrative leave.