The Falcon Heights, Minnesota police shooting of Philando Castile is based around an entirely false narrative. Castile and Ms. Diamond Reynolds (Facebook video uploader) were pulled over by police because Castile matched a BOLO Alert for an armed robbery suspect from four days prior.
Unfortunately, the false statements in the video – which have gone viral, and are being pushed by the mainstream media – have created a backlash against police officers.
Saint Anthony, MN, Police Officers Jeronimo Yanez and Joseph Kauser pulled over Mr. Castile and Ms. Reynolds because the driver, Philando Castile, matched the suspect profile in an armed robbery which occurred on July 2nd, at a convenience store, only a few blocks from where their car was pulled over.
The armed robbery occurred on July 2nd 7:30pm (Sat). The CCTV images were given to media and LEO by detectives on July 5th (Tuesday). A BOLO (Be On Look Out) alert was issued the same day, Tuesday July 5th. Philando Castile was pulled over on July 6th.
From the radio dispatch of Officer Jeronimo Yanez:
“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.”
A minute and a half later, the recording captures the first report that there was a shooting. (link)
Ms. Diamond Reynolds narrates the now viral Facebook video with several false statements.
Reynolds claimed they were pulled over for a broken tail light, false.
Ms. Reynolds also claims her boyfriend, Castile, was holding a concealed carry permit for a firearm that was resting on his left thigh. This also appears to be false.
According to a question presented to the local county sheriff who oversees the Concealed Carry Permit process, Mr. Castile had never requested a concealed carry permit from their office:
Due to the rear facing camera option on the phone Ms. Reynolds was using, the uploaded video is a reversed mirror image – making it appear she was in the drivers side, and Castile was on the passenger side. However, that impression is incorrect, astile was driving the vehicle. The uploaded image is reversed by Facebook Livestream Video.
However, in part of the video it is possible to see a hand gun located on the thigh of Philando Castile. This also appears to be why Officer Yanez repeats to Ms. Reynolds not to reach toward her boyfriend:
This hand gun also appears to be the same type of hand gun used in the Convenience Store Armed robbery four days earlier:
In addition, Mr. Castile also matched the physical description of the suspect as given by eye witnesses:
[…] The other suspect was described as a black man with shoulder-length dreadlocks, who wore tan pants, tan shoes with white soles, a green jacket, a green baseball cap and glasses, the release says. He also had some of his hair pulled into a bun through the strap on the back of his hat and had a small mustache and facial hair on his chin. (link)
Similar clothes as noted on the robbery suspect are also noted in the Facebook images of Mr. Castile. However, whether Mr. Castile is actually the person who committed the armed robbery is essentially a moot point. Officer Jeronimo Yanez gave the reason for the stop to his dispatcher as a possible ID on an “armed robbery suspect”.
It is with that “armed robbery suspect” perspective the approach toward the vehicle was made.
Mr. Castile, fitting the physical description, being in the same geography, and then having a handgun under his thigh only made the suspicions gain exponential weight.
Any behaviors or sudden movements by Mr. Castile would only increase the anxiety and increase his perception as a threat.