Philando Castile’s “Wide-set Nose” Got Him Killed

I’ve heard the audio where the cop who shot Philando Castile allegedly says he pulled him over because he had a “wide-set nose,” like that of a robbery suspect according to ABC News. The audio in question was given to a local television station viewer who managed to capture it on a police scanner.

For now, I won’t give it much credence – not until it’s validated by officials. Why? Because I remember when an NBC affiliate in Florida altered the audio of George Zimmerman’s 911 call to make it sound like he said “nigger.” Further, the station did such a god job of editing the audio, when played, it had Zimmerman look like had malicious intent. The station editor was fired over it, and NBC paid huge FCC fines for doing so.

So, I’m careful about republishing, commenting, and disseminating any such information without official validation. Yes, you’re not going to catch me out there butt-naked like these ambulance chasing bloggers and journalists looking for clicks. Why? Because the last thing I’d like to do is add to the cesspool of misinformation with the sole intent of pushing an agenda.

So, for now, what do we know? We do know that Castile was indeed stopped because he fit the description of a robbery suspect. How do we know this? We do because the attorney for the officer who shot him has said as much publicly. Tom Kelly, the lawyer for Jeronimo Yanez, the police officer who shot and killed Philando Castile, says police “had a reasonable suspicion he may match the description of the suspect in the earlier robbery,” according to KARE 11 television in Minnesota.

Convenience store image of the robbery suspect in question.
Convenience store image of the robbery suspect in question.

Kelly also said that the shooting had nothing to do with race. But instead, the offi8cer’s decision to shoot was based on “the presence of that gun and the display of that gun,” according to theAssociated Press.

While the dispatch audio has yet to be authenticated. Assuming that it is accurate, it’s hard to say that the initial traffic stop had nothing to do with race. If a “wide-set nose,” is all it takes for reasonable suspicion. I’d like to know how many black motorists were stopped by the officer involved on that day. If all it took was a suspicious “wide-set nose,” to execute a stop, it would seem like every black person in St. Anthony would be a suspect.

It’s not that every black person in Minnesota has a “wide-set nose.” However, I’m willing to bet that a great number of them do. So, to pull over Philando Castile simply because he did have a “wide-set nose,” much like a robbery suspect, to me, amounts to racial profiling. It would be like me approaching random black women with a “fat ass” in the street and asking them how much they charge for sex. Yes, it’s just that stupid; and, definitely not good policing.

Listen to the audio below: