Report: Philando Castile Was Pulled Over Because He Matched Description of Suspect With ‘Wide-Set Nose’

Angela Bronner Helm
Clarence D. Castile, uncle of Philando Castile, speaks outside the Governor’s Mansion in St. Paul, Minn., on July 7, 2016.
Stephen Maturen/Getty Images

Philando Castile, the 32-year-old St. Paul, Minn., man who was shot and killed by Officer Jeronimo Yanez on July 6, and who has been the impetus for a dozens of police protests across the country, was apparently pulled over by police because he matched the description of a robbery suspect with a “wide-set nose.”

“I’m going to stop a car,” an officer is heard saying in the police audio scanner obtained by news organizations. “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 continues. “The driver looks like one of our suspects because of the wide-set nose.”

A full minute and a half after the dispatch, another call came in: “Shots fired! Larpenteur and Fry.”

Though initial reports indicate that Castile was pulled over for a broken taillight, it appears that Castile was profiled because he matched the description of a man with a big nose.

Castile was reportedly pulled over more than 50 times in Minnesota before his deadly encounter with police.


Both Castile’s girlfriend, Diamond Reynolds, who was with Castile in the car when it was pulled over, and his uncle, Clarence Castile, weighed in on the recently released audio, which police have not commented on yet.

When asked if she heard the audio from the scanner, Reynolds said that she did, but said to 11Alive, “Yes, but we didn’t fit any of the descriptions.”


Castile’s uncle, though, was more forthright: “It’s kind of hard to see flared nostrils from a car,” he said. “But I don’t think that’s any excuse to pull anyone over and then wind up dead behind that.”

He added, “What we have to do is get my nephew buried and laid to rest in a good and honorable way. When that’s done, that’s when the fight begins. Then we’re going to start working to get serious justice.”


Police have not yet confirmed what robbery the original audio referred to.

Listen to the full audio below:


Read more at 11Alive.

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