KING COUNTY - Cell phone video captured the moments after a Minnesota officer shot and killed Philando Castile in his car. Both Castile and Sterling, in Louisiana, were legally carrying firearms at the time of their deaths. But officers involved say those weapons were deemed a threat.
Here in Washington, the State Department of Licensing says there are now 543,000 concealed weapons permits. That’s up 13.5% from 2014. With the uptick in permits, it’s important for drivers and police to be aware.
“Sometimes you get up to a car and they start digging around you`re like what are they going for a gun their wallet your heart starts pounding and your thinking, oh boy, what`s gonna happen here,” said King County Sheriff’s Office Sergeant Cindi West.
According to Philando Castile’s girlfriend, that’s why he was shot by police saying he told police he had a gun and license to carry. But when he reached for his wallet, an officer shot him. Shortly after, you could hear the pain coming from Philando Castile’s family begging for answers.
Now, King County Sheriff’s Office Sergeant Cindi West offers insights into what it’s like to police with the growing number of concealed carry permits.
“The last thing you want to do on any traffic stop is to make any sudden moves even if it’s just to get your wallet or something like that. Don`t make any moves until the officer asks you to retrieve something,” said West.
Another tip for all drivers, with or without a gun…
“When the officer is approaching your car, keep your hands on the steering wheel. It shows the officer you are not doing anything you`re not reaching for anything because that is the first place an officer is going to look for, your hands, where they`re at what they`re holding,” said West.
Turn on your dome lights, roll down your windows, and over-communicate every action.
“We really want people to be safe and we want them to feel safe in light of things that are happening in the world. It’s important that when somebody gets stopped they feel safe,” said West.
West says the expect people to be a little nervous when they get pulled over, but remember to remain calm. Wait until you’re asked for your license and registration.