On Wednesday night, a police officer shot and killed Minnesota man Philando Castile as he sat in his girlfriend’s car with his seatbelt on, reaching for his ID. His girlfriend’s four-year-old daughter witnessed the murder from the backseat. This morning on CNN, Castile’s mother Valerie says she was prevented by police from reaching her son as he died.
Castile has been identified as a cafeteria supervisor. His mother, joined by his uncle Clarence Castile, said on CNN that he was licensed to carry a firearm: “Everything he did was legitimate.” She also said that after she was told about the video being streamed by Castile’s girlfriend, she rushed to the scene, but was kept from reaching her son’s side.
“I didn’t want my son to die alone,” she said. “I didn’t want to talk to anyone — I just wanted to get to my son, because I didn’t want my son to die alone.”
Valerie Castile said she hasn’t watched the video yet: “I know it’s not a good thing to look at. I want to remember him as I last saw him leaving my home, earlier that evening.” She also said she hasn’t been able to identify or claim her son’s body yet: “They didn’t let me see my son’s body, at all. I have not identified my son’s body because they wouldn’t let me.”
The police released this extremely terse statement on the shooting:
Protesters began to gather last night following the shooting at both the site of the killing and in front of the Governor’s mansion in St. Paul.
In her interview, Castile was calm—perhaps in shock—but clearly furious and heartsick: “Every day you hear of another black person being shot down, gunned down by the people that are supposed to protect us. My son was a law-abiding citizen. He did nothing wrong. He had a permit to carry. With all of that, trying to do the right things and live accordingly, abide the law, he was killed by the law. I’m outraged.”
The full CNN interview is below.