Criminal

An illustration of a Texas license plate with the license plate number 695 BGK.

695BGK

Episode #18

2015-04-03 01:49:21

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Police officer John Edwards was patrolling a quiet neighborhood in Bellaire, Texas when he saw an SUV driven by two young African-American men, including Robbie Tolan. It was just before 2am on December 31, 2008. Edwards followed the SUV and ran the license plate number. When his computer indicated that the SUV was stolen, Edwards drew his gun and told the two men to get down on the ground. It wasn’t until later that he realized he’d typed the wrong license plate number into his computer. He was off by one digit. By the time he realized his mistake, police had already shot one of the men in the chest at close range. We speak with Marian Tolan, Robert Tolan, and attorney Benjamin Crump. This episode won a“Best Documentary” award at the Third Coast International Audio Festival.

Update: We checked in with the Tolan family in our 50th Episode.

For a transcript of this episode, send us an email with the episode name and number.