Fatal Traffic Stop Linked to Armed Robbery

BCA Photo of Falcon Heights Armed Robbery Suspect; Philando Castille Screenshot

Police Scanner Audio May Link Castile to Recent Armed Robbery; Ramsey County says “Castile Never Applied for a Concealed Carry Permit”

The fatal traffic stop that resulted in the  officer-involved shooting of Philando Castile in St. Paul on July 6, 2016 has rocked the nation, leading to protests and five police officers being killed in Dallas.  MN Governor Mark Dayton and other political leaders have blamed racism for the death of Castile. Dayton said in a press conference, “Would this have happened if those passengers or driver were white? I don’t think it would have.” (StarTribune.com)

Castile’s girlfriend, Lavish “Diamond” Reynolds, live streamed the aftermath of the shooting on Facebook causing much of the national uproar. Reynolds and her four-year-old daughter were passengers in the car at the time of the shooting.  In the video, Reynolds appears calm, even while the police officer still has a gun trained on the car and is frantically yelling at her and to his partner.  In the video, Reynolds explains that the couple had been pulled over for a broken taillight and that Castile was shot while attempting to retrieve his ID from his wallet after explaining to the officers that he had a firearm and a permit to carry.

This narrative, perpetuated by Reynolds, is the narrative the media, protesters and politicians are using to dominate the conversation about the shooting and its this narrative that is overshadowing the real reason officers stopped Castile in Falcon Heights on Wednesday night, and were on high alert.

On July 5, 2016, the Minnesota Bureau of Criminal Apprehension (BCA) released the following post on the department’s Facebook page:

The armed robbery happened just a few blocks from where officers stopped Castile. According to a report by KARE11.com, a viewer sent in a recording of police scanner activity the night of the shooting, in which the officers say:

“I’m going to stop a car,” the officer says on the recording. “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 officer says. “The driver looks more like one of our suspects, just ‘cause of the wide set nose,” the officer continues.

About 90 seconds later, the officers report a shooting had taken place and requested an ambulance for Castile.

Reports also show that Castile had been stopped by police at least 60 times and had cases brought against him 31 times resulting in 43 convictions of misdemeanors that included driving after revocation, speeding, vehicle abandonment and driving without insurance.

Castile’s girlfriend, Lavish Reynolds, claims in the video that Castile had a Permit to Carry a firearm.  ConservativeTreehouse.com is reporting that they contacted the Ramsey County Sheriff’s office and questioned whether they had issued a Conceal Carry Permit to Castile:

According to a question presented to the local county sheriff who oversees the Concealed Carry Permit process, Mr. Castille had never requested a concealed carry permit from their office:

mn shooting 16

It is possible a CCP was obtained in another county, however the media are conflating “permit to purchase” with “concealed carry permit”.  For some reason the CCP ownership is being amplified; it really has no bearing and is largely irrelevant for the context of the situation.  That said, there is no factual evidence Mr. Philando Castile (sic) had a CCP. (emphasis added)

Local police and the Minnesota BCA are investigating the incident.  Calls have been made by Governor Dayton and others for a federal investigation into the incident.

Follow Alpha News as we continue to report on this story as more details become available.

Andrea Mayer-Bruestle

Andrea Mayer-Bruestle is a former writer for Alpha News.