VP candidates mention Castile as they spar over police shootings

Philando Castile
Philando Castile in an undated photo.

At the vice presidential debate Tuesday, candidates Tim Kaine and Mike Pence brought up racial issues, criminal justice reform and police shootings. Kaine, the Democratic candidate, used Philando Castile's driving history as an example of the injustices some African-Americans face.

Castile, a black man, was fatally shot by a St. Anthony Police officer at a traffic stop in July. Castile worked as a school cafeteria supervisor.

"They called him Mr. Rogers with dreadlocks in the school that he worked, the kids loved him," Kaine said. "He had been stopped by police 40 or 50 times before that fatal incident. And if you look at sentencing in this country, African-Americans and Latinos get sentenced for the same crimes at very different rates."

But Pence defended law enforcement. The Republican vice presidential candidate acknowledged the need for criminal justice reform, but said tragic shootings don't mean police are implicitly biased and cautioned against jumping to conclusions before a full investigation is complete.

"What Donald Trump and I are saying, let's not have the reflex of assuming the worst of men and women in law enforcement," Pence said.

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