New Info Supports Officer in Shooting of Philando Castile
As we had previously reported, Philando Castile was stopped by St. Anthony Officer Jeronimo Yanez because Officer Yanez had suspected Castile of being involved in a convenience store robbery that had occurred several days earlier. We have now discovered that Officer Yanez was one of the officers who had responded to that robbery. On the day of the shooting, Officer Yanez' reason for stopping Castile was because Officer Yanez had known specific facts and circumstances that led him to believe that Castile may be the robber; Philando Castile was shot by Officer Yanez on that traffic stop. This new information explains how Officer Yanez knew enough about the case to suspect Castile of being the robber.
The media has suggested that their copy of the robber's photo is not clear enough for Officer Yanez to reasonably believe that Castile was the suspect. However, because Officer Yanez was on scene, he knew a lot more than the media does about the circumstances of the robbery. It is likely that Officer Yanez saw the full security footage himself. Whether or not Castile actually was the robber, Officer Yanez had reason to suspect that Castile was the individual who committed the robbery.
We've also learned that when Officer Jeronimo Yanez shot Philando Castile, it wasn't Officer Yanez' first contact with Castile. Police records show that Castile had been arrested for an outstanding warrant and driving on a revoked license in 2011; Officer Yanez was the officer who had booked him into jail.
Castile's criminal history is now being discussed much like Alton Sterling's criminal history. Alton Sterling was shot in Baton Rouge when he tried to pull out his illegally possessed gun to kill police officers. Alton Sterling's criminal history showed the he had a history of violently attacking law enforcement, and his history painted a clear picture of the type of person who would try to murder two cops.
However, Philando Castile's criminal history shows no propensity towards violence. Castile had a long criminal history, with no less than 22 individual arrests on his record. Most of Castile's arrests were for traffic-related crimes; there were no violent offenses or felony arrests on file for Castile.
The criminal arrest history of Philando Castile's does not appear to be directly relevant to the shooting, but it does show that the media and his family have been spreading lies and misinformation. Law enforcement had reportedly stopped Castile 52 times in the past few years. The media narrative has been that racial profiling is the only factor that could account for so many stops. We now know that officers were actually stopping Castile for repeatedly committing traffic-related crimes. Those aren't minor violations like having a light out, they are crimes. I have personally never seen any other individual who has such an extensive history of criminal traffic offenses.
The narrative of events surrounding the shooting, thus far, has been controlled entirely by Castile's girlfriend, Diamond Reynolds. Reynolds lied when she said that Castile had no criminal history; Castile's criminal history is quite long.
In an interview with CNN, Roseville Police Chief Rick Mathwig has also called out Reynolds for being a liar:
• Officers started administering CPR three minutes after arriving at the scene, trying to save Castile's life, Mathwig says. "It hurt me ... to hear the governor of Minnesota saying that Mr. Castile did not receive CPR," he says.
• Diamond Reynolds, Castile's fiancée who recorded the shooting aftermath in a Facebook Live video, wasn't detained by police all night, Mathwig says. The police chief says she was held for about two hours in what's called a "soft interview room" because it also contains toys, books and blankets.
• Mathwig says investigators did what they could to help Reynolds and her 4-year-old daughter. Before dropping her off at home, Mathwig says an officer gave the child a teddy bear.
We still don't have enough information to determined whether the Philando Castile Shooting was justified, but we have reason to doubt the version of the story that is being told by Reynolds.