This Quote From Philando Castile's Mother Is Telling & Way Too Tragic
On Wednesday, Americans mourned the death of Alton Sterling; however, on Thursday morning, there was another man to mourn: Philando Castile. Both Sterling and Castile were fatally shot by police officers, Sterling in Baton Rouge, Louisiana, on July 5, and Castile outside of St. Paul, Minnesota, on July 6 — both men were African-American. In a Thursday morning interview on CNN, Castile's mother, Valerie Castile, bluntly stated that police shot her son because of his race. St. Anthony Interim Police Chief Jon Mangseth confirmed the shooting happened and said the officer has been placed on administrative leave.
Valerie Castile told CNN that her son was a law-abiding citizen, and that she believed she knew the reason that he was killed. "I think he was just black in the wrong place," she said.
Bustle has reached out to the St. Anthony Police Department for comment on the death and the allegations of racial bias in policing.
Castile was the 115th black man to be fatally shot by police in 2016, according to The Washington Post. In her interview, the New York Times reported, Valerie Castile highlighted the fact that black men in America have to be cautious around police, and told CNN that she had warned her son to always, "Comply, comply, comply," with law enforcement officers. She said that complying was the only way to "try and survive being stopped by the police." The fact that Valerie Castile had discussed this with her son heartbreakingly proved that she knew her son's race made him a target for unjust treatment.
However, Valerie Castile went on to tell CNN that she never imagined that her son would die at the hands of the police meant to protect him from danger. The video Castile's girlfriend took right after he was shot claims Castile was merely reaching for his wallet when he was killed, just as his mother had taught him. Minnesota Gov. Mark Dayton also claimed that race likely played a role in the shooting, saying that no one should be killed for a broken taillight, and claiming, "All of us in Minnesota are forced to confront that this kind of racism exists."
At the end of her CNN interview, Valerie Castile again made it clear that she believes racism was the cause of her son's death. She said, "We're being hunted every day. It's a silent war against African American people as a whole. ... We're never free."