The Minneapolis Star Tribune is reporting, through a source, that Philando Castile had a permit to carry a gun, when a police officer shot him in Falcon Heights, Minnesota.
The newspaper reports: “Philando Castile had a valid permit to carry a gun when he was shot and killed by a St. Anthony police officer, a source confirmed to the Star Tribune Friday.”
On July 12, the Washington Post obtained a letter sent to Castile telling him his permit was enclosed.
The shooting of Castile has provoked protests and outrage throughout the country; his girlfriend, Lavish Reynolds, streamed the aftermath of the shooting on Facebook Live. The video shows Castile bleeding in the front seat as the officer points a gun at him. Police have said the Dallas shooter was motivated by Castile’s shooting as well as a shooting in Baton Rouge, Louisiana.
The issue of whether Castile had a permit was first raised by Reynolds in the live video, in which she says that Castile told the officer he was armed and that he had a permit to carry a weapon. The St. Anthony Village Police Department (where the officer was from) has released very few details on the shooting death, other than to say that police did recover a gun and it originated from a traffic stop. A lawyer for the officer, Jeronimo Yanez, told The Associated Press that Yanez, who is Latino, was reacting to the gun, not Castile’s race, when he shot him, USA Today says.
KARE 11 TV has also reported that a viewer gave the TV station what may be dispatch audio showing that the officer pulled Castile over because the officer thought he resembled an armed robbery suspect due to the width of his nose. The news site has been unable to verify it through police but said the license plate mentioned in the audio matched Castile’s; Heavy has reached out to the police spokesperson, the officer’s attorney, and the Bureau of Criminal Apprehension for verification.
You can read that transcript and listen to the audio here. KARE 11 initially said it’s not clear which robbery the audio refers to but noted there was a July 2 gas station robbery in Lauderdale; you can see photos of those robbers here. However, KARE 11 has now reported that the officer’s attorney, Tom Kelly, has confirmed details in the audio, and says the robbery in question was the Lauderdale one, adding, “They had a reasonable suspicion he may match the description of the suspect in the earlier robbery.”
Castile’s uncle, Clarence Castile, told KARE 11 that the audio shows Castile was racially profiled, and says that Reynolds says she and Castile did not look like the suspects (both were men).
As to the gun permit, some on the Internet had used a recent Tweet by the Ramsey County Sheriff’s Department as evidence that Castile did not have a gun permit. In that Tweet, Ramsey County says Castile did not apply for a permit through that county, which is the location of Minneapolis/St. Paul.
However, Philando Castile had a valid permit to carry a gun when he was shot and killed by a St. Anthony police officer, a source confirmed to the Star Tribune Friday.” The Star-Tribune quotes the source as saying that Castile obtained the permit when he lived in Robbinsdale, Minnesota, which is in Hennepin County.
Gun permit application information is private in Minnesota under the law.