In the wake of his killing at the hands of police last week, at least a few outlets and commentators have questioned whether Philando Castile had a permit to carry a gun.
Those doubts have now been put to rest. Castile's family released a copy of his gun permit to CBS Minnesota, dated June 4, 2015 by Hennepin County, Minnesota. As CBS News notes, because the permit was issued by Hennepin County, it was not considered a public record.
In the Facebook Live video she posted just after Castile was shot five times by officer Jeronimo Yanez, Diamond Reynolds, Castile's girlfriend, can be heard saying that Castile had a permit for the gun in the car. Yanez fired, police claim, because he feared Castile was reaching for his weapon when he was instructed to provide the officer with his driver's license. Yanez can be heard saying, "I told him to get his hand off it," in the video.
Castile's family had contended since his shooting that he legally obtained a concealed carry permit from the state. His mother, Valerie, recalled to CNN that he had expressed his concerns to his sister about the potential dangers of carrying his gun, even legally. "They had a conversation about the concealed carry permits they both had," she said. "They said to be cautious and my daughter said, 'You know what, I don’t even want to carry my gun because I’m afraid they’ll shoot me first and ask questions later.'"
As my colleague Ethan Chiel wrote, the National Rifle Association has still not directly commented on the facts of the incident other than to describe Castile's death as "troubling," even though his shooting was prompted by a seeming violation of his legal gun rights
Yanez and his partner have been placed on paid leave. Reynolds is calling for a federal investigation into the shooting.
Rob covers business, economics and the environment for Fusion. He previously worked at Business Insider. He grew up in Chicago.