The Latest: Castile’s girlfriend describes ‘nightmare’
ST. PAUL, Minn. (AP) — The Latest on the anniversary of the shooting death of motorist Philando Castile during a traffic stop in Minnesota (all times local):
The girlfriend who livestreamed the bloody aftermath of Philando Castile’s shooting death by a Minnesota police officer says it’s been a nightmare waking up every day without him and having to explain to her daughter that he’s not coming back.
Diamond Reynolds spoke with The Associated Press before an event marking Thursday’s anniversary of Castile’s shooting.
St. Anthony police officer Jeronimo Yanez was acquitted of manslaughter and other charges last month for killing Castile and firing bullets that nearly missed Reynolds and her then-4-year-old daughter.
Reynolds says her daughter is “doing great,” but that she’s still alarmed when she hears sirens or sees police.
Reynolds says she doesn’t know what she’ll do with her life moving forward, but says it will be whatever’s in the best interest of her child.
A few people have gathered at the side of the busy street where school cafeteria worker Philando Castile was fatally shot by a Minnesota police officer a year ago.
One woman stopped to drop off flowers. Others stopped to take photos of the memorial to Castile near the Minnesota State Fairgrounds in the St. Paul suburb of Falcon Heights on a sunny, hot afternoon. A makeshift sign for “Philando Castile Memorial Avenue” was attached to a pole above a sign reading “LOVE.”
Twenty-year-old Victoria Brown, a student at Spelman College in Atlanta, said it was important for her to visit the site Thursday while passing through Minneapolis, especially on the anniversary of Castle’s death.
Brown says Castile’s death — and those of other African-Americans killed in encounters with police — is a case of “same story, different names.” A jury last month acquitted Jeronimo Yanez, the St. Anthony police officer who shot Castile.
Brown, who is black, says the acquittal was hurtful.
Minnesota Gov. Mark Dayton is requesting that a new law enforcement training fund be named in honor of Philando Castile, the black motorist who was shot to death by a police officer one year ago in a St. Paul suburb.
Minnesota legislators set aside $12 million this year to train police in working with diverse communities. That move followed both Castile’s death and the 2015 shooting of Jamar Clark, who was also black, by two white Minneapolis police officers.
Dayton says he hopes the fund will help improve police relations with citizens of all colors.
Castile was shot by Officer Jeronimo Yanez seconds after he informed the officer he was carrying a gun. Yanez was acquitted of manslaughter last month after he testified that Castile ignored his commands not to pull out the gun and he feared for his life.
Dayton also named Castile’s uncle, Clarence Castile, to the Peace Officer Standards and Training Board.
Family and friends of Philando Castile are marking the anniversary of his fatal shooting during a routine traffic stop.
Castile, a 32-year-old school cafeteria worker, was shot to death by St. Anthony police Officer Jeronimo Yanez last July 6. Castile was shot seconds after informing Yanez that he was carrying a gun. Yanez was acquitted of manslaughter last month after testifying that Castile ignored his commands not to pull out the gun.
Castile’s family members planned to gather Thursday evening in Falcon Heights, the suburb where he was shot, for what’s billed as a day of love and healing. It includes a candlelight vigil near the shooting scene. The family also plans a lantern release Friday night.
Castile’s girlfriend, Diamond Reynolds, is hosting an event Thursday afternoon in St. Paul.