Before he was fatally shot by police in Falcon Heights, Minnesota, on Wednesday evening, Philando Castile had been pulled over by Twin Cities police at least 52 times in recent years for petty traffic offenses like speeding or not wearing a seatbelt. The traffic stop which led to his death was similarly predicated on the officer's assertion that one of Castile's taillights was out.
Over the course of those 52 stops, Castile was fined 86 times to produce a bill totaling $6,588. More than half of his alleged violations were dismissed in court, and he had no other criminal record.
In 2001, a study commissioned by the Minnesota State Legislature examined data from 65 Minnesota law enforcement jurisdictions and found that in Twin Cities suburbs like (but not including) Falcon Heights, black drivers like Castile were stopped 310 percent more frequently than expected. Though white drivers were pulled over much less often, they were more likely to be caught with contraband in their cars once stopped. Bonnie Kristian