Officer stopped Philando Castile on suspicion of robbery, audio recording suggests

By Doug G. Ware
Video: KARE-TV

FALCON HEIGHTS, Minn., July 12 (UPI) -- A newly-discovered audio recording appears to shed new light on the traffic stop involving Philando Castile in Minnesota last week, which culminated with him being fatally shot by a police officer.

The audio recording, which was given by a viewer to Minneapolis' KARE-TV Tuesday, is purportedly police radio traffic from the time Castile's vehicle was pulled over Thursday.


Castile, 32, was riding in the vehicle's front passenger seat and his girlfriend was driving when the officer made the traffic stop -- supposedly for a broken tail light. Moments later, the police officer shot Castile, who later died from his wounds.

The new audio recording, though, indicates a different reason why the officer pulled the car over. On the tape, the officer says into his police radio that the occupants of Castile's vehicle resemble robbery suspects authorities had been looking for.

"I'm going to stop a car," an officer is heard saying on the recording. Seconds later, he said "the two occupants just look like people that were involved in a robbery."

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"The driver looks more like one of our suspects, just 'cause of the wide-set nose," he added.


Castile's family told KARE-TV that what's on the tape sounds like racial profiling.

"It's hard to see a flared nostril from a car," Castile's uncle said.

The recording has not yet been authenticated, but the attorney representing the police officer told KARE-TV Tuesday that the details on the tape are accurate.

Castile's death, paired with the officer-involved shooting death of Louisiana resident Alton Sterling one day earlier, helped spark nationwide outrage and protests decrying police brutality.

Castile's death remains under investigation.

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