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Philando Castile’s Family Settles Wrongful Death Lawsuit with City
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Philando Castile. Photo courtesy of New York Daily News.

Summary: The family of Philando Castile, who was killed during a traffic stop, will receive $3 million from the city of St. Anthony, Minnesota. 

Last year, Philando Castile was murdered by a Minnesota police officer during a traffic stop. Today, the city of St. Anthony, Minnesota and Castile’s family have announced that the parties have reached a settlement of $3 million.

  
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“The death of Philando Castile is a tragedy for his family and for our community,” the joint statement obtained by CNN said. “The parties moved expeditiously to resolve potential civil claims resulting from this tragedy in order to allow the process of healing to move forward for the Castile family, for the people of St. Anthony Village, and for all those impacted by the death of Philando Castile throughout the United States.”

On July 6, 2016, Castile was driving in a car with his girlfriend and their child. Officer Jeronimo Yanez pulled Castile over and subsequently shot him when he learned Castile had a gun. A dashcam video and a radio transmission revealed that Castile had warned Yanez that he had a firearm and that it was registered. He told the cop that he was not reaching for his gun, but Yanez fired anyway.

On June 16, Yanez was acquitted of second-degree manslaughter and two counts of intentional discharge of a firearm, but he will be leaving the police force.

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The death of Philando Castile shocked the country because his girlfriend, Diamond Reynolds, had livestreamed the shooting’s aftermath on Facebook Live. She explained how Castile had been calm before he was shot, and she showed how he was wounded while still wearing his seatbelt. Her child, 4, was in the backseat of their 1997 Oldsmobile.

During Yanez’s trial, Yanez said that Castile had reached for his firearm and that he was scared for his life. County prosecutors countered that Castile’s fully loaded gun was found in his shorts pocket. Yanez also said that he had smelled marijuana in Castile’s car and factored that in his quick decision to fire.



“I thought … if he has … the guts and the audacity to smoke marijuana in front of the 5-year-old girl and risk her lungs and risk her life by giving her secondhand smoke and the front seat passenger doing the same thing then what, what care does he give about me,” Yanez said.

The money given to Castile’s family will be distributed through an insurance trust and will avert a potential wrongful death lawsuit, according to The Associated Press. 

“The important work of healing our community continues,” the city of St. Anthony said, “The City and residents are working to improve trust between the police department and the communities it serves.”

Castile, 32, was a beloved cafeteria worker at J.J. Hill Montessori Magnet School. According to Time, he was a “role model” for his students.

“He remembered their names. He remembered who couldn’t have milk. He knew what they could have to eat and what they couldn’t,” former colleague Joan Edman told Time. “This was a real guy. He made a real contribution. Yes, black lives matter. But this man mattered.”

What do you think of the Philando Castile settlement? Let us know in the comments below.



 

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