His mother, Valerie, who was often called on to help when her son’s car was impounded, believes that the police were stopping Mr. Castile not because of his driving but because of his race. “Driving while black,” she said. ...So how did the officer know that he was black, if the windows were tinted?
Amid the string of traffic stops was one in Maplewood, another suburb of St. Paul, one afternoon in 2008. Mr. Castile had driven a friend’s car, a 1997 black Mercury Marquis, to a Taco Bell for lunch. An officer pulled him over for tinted windows. ...
Mr. Castile’s sister Allysza said her brother’s love of wide-bodied, older-model cars, like the 1997 Oldsmobile he bought for $275 and was driving when he was shot, attracted police officers’ attention.
Ms. Castile was pulled over three times when she borrowed his car, she said, because “those are mostly stereotyped as drug dealer-type cars.”
It appears that his cars were being profiled, not his race.
I have been pulled over just because my car was unusual for the neighborhood. None of this seems unreasonable to me.
In the six years after he lost his license, Mr. Castile was pulled over another 21 times, repeatedly convicted of driving with an invalid license, fined and ordered not to drive.This might be police harassment if he never did anything wrong, but maybe the cops were good at spotting scofflaws like him.