Attorney – Officer Thought Castile Resembled Robbery Suspect
St. Paul, MN (Learfield Wire Service) - The attorney representing the police officer who shot and killed a motorist during a traffic stop in the Twin Cities last week is indicating reports that Philando Castile was only stopped for a taillight violation are inaccurate.
Attorney Thomas Kelly says Saint Anthony Police Officer Jeronimo Yanez initiated the traffic stop, in part, because he believed Castile resembled the description of a man wanted for robbing a convenience store in the same area a few days earlier.
In an interview with the Star Tribune, the attorney was quoted as saying “This has nothing to do with race and everything to do with the presence of a gun. Deadly force would not have been used if not for the presence of the gun." Castile reportedly had a permit to carry the gun legally.
St. Paul's city attorney says he's considering charges of rioting against 50 people arrested in a weekend protest on Interstate 94 over the fatal police shooting. Samuel Clark says his office is reviewing evidence from the protest, including photos and video, to determine whether there's sufficient evidence for charges.
After the interstate arrests, police stopped protesters walking in the road on Grand Avenue in St. Paul around 4 AM Sunday and arrested 52 people. They were cited for public nuisance and unlawful assembly before being released.