She’s making it clear that she thinks her son didn’t receive justice
In the aftermath of the verdict that saw the police officer who shot and killed her son go unpunished, Philando Castile’s mother is speaking out. As you can imagine, she’s not happy.
ABC News has the story of the acquittal of the police officer who was accused of second-degree manslaughter. The shooting of Philando Castile was captured on Facebook Live by his girlfriend as her young daughter looked on, lending an extra layer to the same old story of police using excessive force on an African-American.
Valerie Castile gave an interview after the verdict, and she did not hold back.
“The system continues to fail all black people,” she said in a statement. “I am so disappointed in the state of Minnesota. My son loved this state.”
St. Anthony Police Officer Jeronimo Yanez shot Castile several times after he was pulled over with his girlfriend, Diamond Reynolds, and her 4-year-old daughter in Falcon Heights, Minnesota, outside of St. Paul.
Castile called Yanez a “murderer” and said she was “mad as hell” about the verdict, which, if anything, seems like an understatement.
Incredulous at yet another police officer escaping with a not guilty verdict, she yelled on the steps of the courthouse. “A murderer gets away. Are you kidding me right now?”
Castile isn’t the only one frustrated by the verdict, especially in the face of the Facebook Live video that seems to indicate Castile’s cooperation before he was shot.
The victim’s girlfriend released a statement of her own in which she describes her own disappointment. “It’s a sad state of affairs when this type of criminal conduct is condoned simply because Yanez is a policeman,” Reynolds said. “God help America.”
The ACLU also spoke out, saying that the acquittal is “part of a disturbing national pattern of officers using excessive force against people of color, often during routine encounters.” Interim executive director of the ACLU of Minnesota Teresa Nelson stated that Castile is one of 1,092 people were killed by police in 2016, a number that is probably less shocking than it should be, given the recent string of highly-publicized incidents.
Of some small consolation is the fact that Yanez will be transitioned out of the plice force, according to a statement from the city of St. Anthony. “[The] public will be best served if Officer Yanez is no longer a police officer in our city,” and will offer him a “voluntary separation agreement” to ease his transition to another career.
Who will ease his mother’s transition to a life without her son?