Though no criminal charges are being pursued in the murder by police of Philando Castile, the family will receive a form of justice for their son’s death thanks to a settlement reached with the city on Monday.
In exchange for not pursuing a federal wrongful death lawsuit, Castile’s mother Valerie Castile will be paid a sum of nearly $3 million by the city.
The announcement was made just a week after a jury elected to clear the officer who discharged his gun at point blank range on Castile while in the car with his girlfriend and young daughter.
Castile was pulled over for a routine traffic stop on July 6, 2016 by officer Jeronimo Yanez. Castile informed Yanez that he was carrying a concealed weapon, for which he had a permit. When Castile reached for his wallet, informing Yanez more than once that he was not reaching for his legal weapon, Yanez began discharging his firearm, killing Castile just inches away from his girlfriend and child.
The aftermath of the shooting was streamed live on Facebook by Castile’s girlfriend, Diamond Reynolds, drawing immediate national attention. Despite multiple videos and witness accounts from Reynolds, the jury presiding over Yanez’s case believed that he did not act outside of his duty and cleared him of all charges in relation to Castile’s death.
Castile’s death serves as yet another heartbreaking example of the way police forces are allowed to take extreme action with near complete immunity. Yanez was fired by the city in a “voluntary separation agreement,” but nothing will stop this irresponsible officer from being employed elsewhere, continuing to terrorize communities of color.
The settlement will be paid by the League of Minnesota Cities Insurance Trust, once it is approved for payment by the state court which could take several weeks. In the meantime, the family continues to grieve.