CRIME

Stopped 52 times by police: Was it racial profiling?

  • This 2014 photo provided by Dewanda Harris shows Philando Castile of St. Paul, Minn., posing for a photo while attending a family funeral in St. Paul. Officials say Castile was fatally shot by police in Falcon Heights, Minn., Wednesday, July 6, 2016, while inside a car with a woman and a child. (Dewanda Harris via AP)

    This 2014 photo provided by Dewanda Harris shows Philando Castile of St. Paul, Minn., posing for a photo while attending a family funeral in St. Paul. Officials say Castile was fatally shot by police in Falcon Heights, Minn., Wednesday, July 6, 2016, while inside a car with a woman and a child. (Dewanda Harris via AP)  (The Associated Press)

  • A chalk tribute to Philando Castile marks a sidewalk across the street from the governor's residence as demonstrators gather outside the governor's residence Friday, July 8, 2016, in St. Paul, Minn., where protests continue over the shooting death by police of Castile after a traffic stop Wednesday, July 6, in Falcon Heights.  (AP Photo/Jim Mone)

    A chalk tribute to Philando Castile marks a sidewalk across the street from the governor's residence as demonstrators gather outside the governor's residence Friday, July 8, 2016, in St. Paul, Minn., where protests continue over the shooting death by police of Castile after a traffic stop Wednesday, July 6, in Falcon Heights. (AP Photo/Jim Mone)  (The Associated Press)

Philando Castile had been pulled over at least 52 times in recent years in and around the Twin Cities and given citations for minor offenses including speeding and driving without a muffler.

He was assessed at least $6,588 in fines and fees, although court records show more than half of the total 86 violations were dismissed.

Was Castile an especially bad driver or just unlucky? Or was he targeted by officers who single out black motorists like him for such stops?

The answer may never be known, but Castile's stop for a broken tail light Wednesday ended with him fatally shot by a suburban St. Paul police officer and his girlfriend livestreaming the chilling aftermath. The shooting has added a new impetus to a national debate on racial profiling.