Saturday, July 9, 2016

Is There More to the Philando Castile Case Than Meets the Eye?

I think that of the recent rash of news stories involving police-shootings, the one that has captured the most attention from gunnies is the horrible case of Philando Castile, the Minnesota man who was a concealed carry license holder shot to death during a "routine traffic stop", as the story goes.  I'd hazard a guess that since so many of us are concealed carriers, this scenario is our worst nightmare, or close to it. 

Some things about that never seemed quite right to me; the first was the chatty girlfriend who live streams the event instead of calling 911 and seems almost emotionally uninvolved in the whole event.  She doesn't seem emotionally attached to Mr. Castile at all, more concerned with putting a video online.  Her "don't tell me he's dead" pleas sound as emotionless as checking off a box on a form.  The second thing that I noticed was that the traffic stop was about a bad tail light, yet the video appeared to be in broad daylight.  I suppose that can happen, but I've never heard of it, or had it happen to me. There are photos online, though, that show the car after dark and both taillights appear to be working. 

The Conservative Treehouse has been following this story closer than most and poking it with sticks.  They've turned up some things that, as least to me, demand attention.  The most trivial is that the county where is this occurred, Ramsey County, MN, has no record of issuing Mr. Castile a CCW.
This could be nothing.  He could be from the next county over or the opposite corner of the state.  It isn't a critical point, but at this point it can't be verified he had a CCW permit, or who issued it to him.  Far more important is a trail they weave showing that Mr. Castile was pulled over because he physically matched one of two suspects who robbed a store at gunpoint.  A store very close to where Castile's stop and shooting occurred.
The people at GotNews chased down the social media profiles of Diamond and Philando, and unfortunately a familiar set of social behaviors surfaces.

Yes, Philando Castile was a gang member (crips), frequently picturing himself with firearms, cash, drugs and gang signs; and Ms. Diamond also has a colorfully broadcasted social presence.
This is a confusing situation.  Depending on his exact ties to a gang, it could make it unlikely he really was a CCW holder.  The pictures on Conservative Treehouse include this:
Arrested, of course, doesn't mean convicted and it's all still possible that Castile had a valid concealed carry permit and everything is just as reported.  It just seems to be getting harder to think that.

Doesn't it change the whole scenario if, instead of a routine stop for a broken tail light, the officer was pulling over a vehicle containing a B.O.L.O driver who fit the exact profile of an armed robbery suspect from a few days earlier?  Even if he just happens to have the incredible misfortune to look a lot like the photos of the armed robbery suspects?  As Conservative Treehouse puts it:
Wouldn’t it be entirely plausible for a rather concerned police officer to be additionally, well, twitchy perhaps, about a possible armed robbery suspect -pulled over- who identifies he is armed inside the vehicle, and then makes an unanticipated movement toward….

Well, I think you get the overall thesis.
I'll be honest: I'm not 100% sure what to make of this.  In broad overview, the story fits with what has been reported but adds a lot of detail and nuance.  Their sources seem solid.  They link to local news outlets (self-starting audio warning) throughout their investigation.  I'm only sure it bears keeping up with the story.  Miguel reports the Second Amendment Foundation is following this case and pushing for a full investigation, which is good.  The officers are suspended (as always after a shooting, it seems) and there's apparently a real investigation going on. 

What's that line about, "may you live in interesting times"?


  1. "Show me some ID!"

    "Ok, but I am Carrying a sidearm and want to show you my CCW license also..."

    Don't reach for it!" Bang! Bang! Bang!

    "Jeez! I told him not to move! I told him to show me his hands! Uhhhh, furtive movement! ...feared for my life! ...had no choice! Why didn't he just comply?! Civilians shouldn't be carrying guns..."

    1. We have no proof at all that he announced that he had a concealed weapon or a license for same. We just have the word of "Diamond", or "Lavish", as she calls herself, and she was never what I would call credible. We have not heard from the two police officers were there or ANY official version. All we have is a thugette who seemed only concerned with getting on facebook as fast as she could to make a cash-crop video.

  2. Graybeard, respectfully,

    Call me jaded, but I no longer give policemen the benefit of the doubt in such cases. I reject the notion that, "If it was the cops what dunnit, then it was the right thing to do because it was the cops what dunnit."

    Too often the police investigate the police and find the police did no wrong according to the police.

    Look at the shooting of Dylan Noble for example.

    Or, lets say Castile was a bad guy. The policeman would be asked,

    "Why did you shoot him?

    The answer,
    "He twitched."

    "Well, hell. There ya have it boys."

    It is wearing thin.

    1. With all due respect, you seem to know less about how police shooting investigations are conducted than anyone else in America. You might want to ask yourself if your personal biases aren't affecting your thought processes. And if you really think that you have better integrity or skills than the average police officer, I have to ask why you haven't stepped forward to do the job, if only to show them all how it should be done.

    2. Peace officer sounds like a fine and worthwhile job. I was impressed with what that Sheriff Andy Taylor character did on that TV show. As a libertarian I am only interested in chasing people who do murder, battery, arson, grand theft, and similar crimes with life-altering damage to the victims. Having caught and convicted the bad guys I will place them in a cage for decades so they are unable to keep hurting people. I promise I won't care what gang colors the criminals doing murder, battery, arson, and grand theft are wearing. As a libertarian, I know that "taxation" is merely a dazzle-them-with-BS name for grand theft. Where do I sign up?

    3. Except cops don't get to choose. Whether you like it or not, the laws are what they are.

    4. Longbow, you don't have to worry about offending me. I have no dog in this fight. I'm only interested in what the truth is and whether or not it teaches something I should know as a concealed carrier. "Civilians shouldn't be carrying guns" can't be an acceptable answer in a "shall issue" state.

      I think it's illogical to dismiss any investigation going on. You are, of course, free to jump to any conclusion you want and not pay attention. Of course there are bad cops. There are bad surgeons, bad pastors, bad lawyers, bad everything. Humans are imperfect, every one of us. But it's illogical to jump to the conclusion that all cops are bad. It's like the argument that with 300 million guns and 12 trillion rounds of ammo, if gun owners were really dangerous, people would know it. By the same argument, if every cop was bad life would be many, many times worse than it already is.

      The biggest risk in getting to the truth here is the same "ruling class is above the law" fiasco we just went through with Hillary and the FBI. Too often, the tendency for grand juries is to give cops too much benefit of the doubt; to let them be a little to high above the law. They're the "thin blue line" and all. But those grand juries aren't cops, they're just people. Imperfect people like people everywhere.

      The system has flaws. What system doesn't?

    5. Of course cops get to choose what laws they enforce. That's what a human mind does, it chooses, it's not Robocop programmed in the police academy. When a cop knowingly enforces an evil law, the cop is fully liable for being evil, because they are human and can choose, no matter what some other people named "legislators" say.

  3. Indeed from the evidence it appears that Diamond lied her tail off on that video and had to know the truth. The perp did indeed have a gun on his lap and either foolishly or nervously was reaching for it. He was the suspect in an armed robbery and was treated exactly as a suspect of armed robbery would have been if he had been white. This is looking like a good shoot. That policeman saved the life of a store clerk or innocent bystander in future armed robberies this guy would have committed.
    You're right about conservative treehouse. They did an excellent job getting the facts out about the Travon Martin case and other cases where the MSM wanted to stay in the weeds.

    1. Thanks for reminding me about their work on the Trayvon Martin case. I remember going there many times. They're one of those sites I visit now and then but not every day.

  4. It should be pointed out that the taillight was burnt out. The photograph clearly shows the top half of the passenger side light is not on.

    This gave the police an official reason for the stop, which was for the express purpose of determining if the person closely or only vaguely matched the description of the armed store robber. This is completely legitimate police procedure.