Philando Castile‘s Girlfriend Settles With St. Anthony For $800,000

The city of St. Anthony has agreed to a second legal settlement over the fatal shooting of Philando Castile by one of its police officers. And this time, with its insurance coverage all but used up, any settlement would largely come from city coffers.

The St. Anthony City Council on Tuesday night voted to pay $675,000 to settle legal claims brought by Castile’s girlfriend, Diamond Reynolds, and her daughter. The pair was in the car with Castile when he was shot to death during a traffic stop by then-St. Anthony police officer Jeronimo Yanez on July 6, 2016.

Before the unanimous vote to approve the settlement, Mayor Jerry Faust said he hoped it would “open the door to continued healing in our community.”

“If we don’t approve this and we go ahead with litigation, it would just reopen the whole case again and bring heartache to everyone involved,” Faust said. “It is best to settle.”

The council’s resolution approving the settlement said, in part, that it resolves any claims related to the alleged detention of and use of force against Reynolds and her daughter, and any claims of racial discrimination or emotional distress.

“While no amount of money can change what happened, bring Philando back, or erase the pain that my daughter and I continue to suffer,” Reynolds said in a statement to WCCO, “I do hope that closing this chapter will allow us to get our lives back and move forward.”

St. Anthony has a $3 million “per occurrence” cap on its insurance policy covering payments like this one through the League of Minnesota Cities Insurance Trust, but a settlement with Castile’s family in June used up $2.995 million of that.

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CNN Wrongly Claims White Police Officer Killed Philando Castile

ERIN BURNETT: This as an exclusive CNN investigation finds that Russia’s attempts to meddle in the election went well beyond Facebook and Twitter, including an app that nearly 30 million Americans were using daily at the time. Drew Griffin is out front.

DREW GRIFFIN: It was a strange email that came directly to the desk of Baltimore City Paper editor Brandon Weigel. Don’t Shoot Us — a group claiming to be made up of black activists — was promoting a protest outside the upcoming court hearing of a Baltimore police officer involved in the death of Freddie Gray. They wanted Weigel to cover it, but he was immediately suspicious.

BRANDON WEIGEL, BALTIMORE CITY PAPER: It wasn’t a group that I had ever heard of either locally or nationally.

GRIFFIN: CNN has now learned Don’t Shoot Us wasn’t local, nor national — it was Russian. And the black activism Don’t Shoot Us was promoting in Baltimore was part of a much bigger strategy Georgetown Professor Mark Jacobsen says that was aimed at attacking the U.S. democratic system.

MARK JACOBSEN, GEORGETOWN UNIVERSITY: What the Russians are doing by fomenting distrust for the American government and by also trying to organize rallies is what you do when you want to destroy a country from within. These are warlike acts. These are acts designed to destroy the United States.

GRIFFIN: A CNN investigation shows Russia’s propaganda attack on the U.S. went beyond using fake accounts and ads using Facebook and Twitter. CNN tracked multiple accounts from Don’t Shoot Us across the internet — a website that boasted 300,000 followers, a YouTube channel with videos of police brutality, a tumbler account. Most surprising, a post announcing a contest on Pokemon Go when it was at its most popular directing gamers to visit locations where alleged police brutality took place. All part of a Kremlin-connected campaign of misinformation that actively sought to influence opinion and meddle inside the U.S.

The email that arrived on Brandon Weigel’s City Paper computer said: “This is ‘Don’t Shoot.'” “We raise awareness of police violence against people of color.” “The idea is to protest in front of the Baltimore City Courthouse” and “demand justice for Freddie Gray.”

WEIGEL: It makes sense that it would be a hot-button issue, but I didn’t think it was something that the Russians would have exploited.

GRIFFIN: The Russians not only exploited divisive racial issues in the U.S, CNN has learned Don’t Shoot Us was operating almost a rapid response to those shootings.

In Minnesota last July, the day after Philando Castile was killed by a white police officer, Don’t Shoot Us was using social media to organize its own protest. The effort failed because local community members determined something was wrong. Turns out they were right, and their suspicions had Russian links.

Erin, the evidence to the extent the Russians went to divide the American electorate just keeps on growing. Blacktivist is another Russian-operated site that was used to try to sow discord between the police and blacks in this country. It went so far even to sell its own Blacktivist T-shirts. As far as we know, the people who engage with these sites had no idea until now these sites were back and actually created by Russians, Erin.

BURNETT: All right, thank you very much, Drew.

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Philando Castile Murder: Mother Gets $3m Over Police Shooting


The family of a black driver killed by a police officer during a traffic stop in Minnesota will receive $3m (£2.4m).

The shooting of Philando Castile last year made international headlines after his girlfriend broadcast the aftermath live on Facebook.

A civil lawsuit for wrongful death has concluded with the news that Valerie Castile, his mother, will receive the money from the city of St Anthony.

The Hispanic police officer who shot him was acquitted of manslaughter.

Mr Castile, a 32-year-old school cafeteria worker, was stopped by police last July and the encounter began cordially.

Police officer Jeronimo Yanez informed him his brake light was out and asked for his insurance and licence.

But when Mr Castile politely told the officer about the gun he was legally carrying, things became tense and seconds later the officer opened fire, after shouting “Don’t reach for it!”

Last week, the family of a black man shot in Ferguson, Missouri, reached a $1.5m settlement over his death, which sparked riots and a national debate about police use of lethal force against African Americans.

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Philando Castile's family reaches $3M settlement in death

MINNEAPOLIS (AP) — The mother of Philando Castile, a black motorist killed by a Minnesota police officer last July, has reached a nearly $3 million settlement with the city that employed the officer, avoiding a federal wrongful death lawsuit that attorneys said could have taken years to resolve.

The settlement to be paid to Valerie Castile, who is the family’s trustee, was announced Monday and comes less than two weeks after officer Jeronimo Yanez was acquitted of manslaughter and other charges connected to her son’s death.

Castile, a 32-year-old elementary school cafeteria worker, was shot five times by Yanez during a traffic stop after Castile informed the officer he was armed. Castile had a permit for his gun. The shooting gained widespread attention after Castile’s girlfriend, who was in the car with her then-4-year-old daughter, livestreamed its gruesome aftermath on Facebook.

The acquittal of Yanez, who is Latino, prompted days of protests, including one in St. Paul that shut down Interstate 94 for hours and ended with 18 arrests.

The $2.995 million settlement for Valerie Castile will be paid by the League of Minnesota Cities Insurance Trust, which holds the insurance policy for the city of St. Anthony. The plan for distribution of funds requires approval by a state court, which could take several weeks.

Robert Bennett, who along with attorney Glenda Hatchett is representing Valerie Castile, said a decision was made to move expeditiously rather than have the case drawn out in federal court, a process that would “exacerbate and reopen terrible wounds.” The settlement will also allow the family, the city and community to work toward healing, Bennett said.

“No amount of money could ever replace Philando,” a joint statement from the attorneys and city of St. Anthony said. “With resolution of the claims the family will continue to deal with their loss through the important work of the Philando Castile Relief Foundation.”

Bennett said the foundation’s mission is to provide financial support, grief counseling, scholarships and other help to individuals and families affected by gun violence and police violence.

Bennett said Castile’s girlfriend, Diamond Reynolds, is not part of the settlement. Reynolds has also hired an attorney, but it’s not clear if she is still planning a lawsuit or has any standing for a federal claim. Reynolds’ attorney did not return messages Monday.

Darin Richardson, claims manager with the League of Minnesota Cities, said St. Anthony’s insurance coverage is $3 million per occurrence. If Reynolds were to file and win a claim, the city’s remaining $5,000 in coverage would be paid to her, and St. Anthony would have to cover any additional money awarded.

The settlement happened faster than others stemming from the killings of black men by police officers elsewhere. Last week, a $1.5 million settlement was reached in the case of Michael Brown, an unarmed 18-year-old who was killed by a white officer in Ferguson, Missouri. That settlement came nearly three years after the death of Brown, whose parents sued the city.

Bennett said his decades-long relationship with Joe Flynn, the attorney who represented St. Anthony in Castile’s case, helped bring a quick resolution. He also said the city of St. Anthony has a commitment to make positive changes to their police department.

The city is undergoing a voluntary review by the Department of Justice’s Office of Community Oriented Policing Services, with the goal of improving trust between the police department and the communities it serves.

During his trial, Yanez, 29, testified that Castile ignored his commands not to pull out his gun. The officer said he feared for his life. According to squad-car video that captured the shooting, Castile said: “I’m not pulling it out” before Yanez fired seven rapid shots. Castile’s last words after the shooting were “I wasn’t reaching …”

Reynolds later said Castile was reaching for his wallet.

The squad-car video shows the shooting, but does not show what happened inside the car or what Yanez saw, leaving room for reasonable doubt.

After Yanez’s acquittal, the city of St. Anthony said it was offering Yanez a “voluntary separation agreement” from the police department, and he would no longer be an on-duty officer. The department serves the cities of St. Anthony, Lauderdale and Falcon Heights, where the shooting occurred.

The status of that separation is unknown. Messages left with the city were not immediately returned.

Monday’s joint statement said no taxpayer money will be used to fund Valerie Castile’s settlement. The League of Minnesota Cities Insurance Trust is a cooperative in which Minnesota cities contribute premiums into a jointly owned risk pool that is used to pay claims.


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Philando Castile Shooting: Officer Said he Felt In Danger After Smelling Weed

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BREAKING: Dashcam Released Showing Cop Murder Philando Castile

“No reasonable officer would have used deadly force under these circumstances,” Ramsey County Attorney John Choi said in a press conference after watching the dashcam footage last year. “Philando Castile was not a threat.”

And now we know why.

For some reason, during the stop, the cowardly Yanez began to fear for his life because of Castile. However, all Castile was doing was telling the officer that he was legally concealed carrying.

Under Minnesota law, you do not have to disclose that you are carrying a firearm during a traffic stop unless you are asked. However, if asked, carriers must answer truthfully and provide their permit to carry, along with identification. During the stop, Yanez became aware of Castile’s handgun and Castile was then legally required to show him his license.

While Castile reached for his license, the fearful Yanez opened fire — dumping 7 rounds into the innocent man.

“He emphatically repeated that he was not pulling out the gun, only that he was lawfully carrying,” explained Choi, noting that even after his dead body was examined that the gun was still in the bottom of his pocket — and, his permit for carrying it was in his other pocket.

“His dying words were in protest that he wasn’t reaching for his gun,” noted Choi.

The cowardly Yanez’s murderous actions were so uncalled for that the shots even surprised his partner.

“During this entire incident, officer Cowzer did not touch or remove his gun from its holster,” stated Choi. “By his actions, and his own words, officer Cowzer did not see Castile make any sudden movements and was surprised by the gunshots.”

Now that the video has been released, we can see all of these facts for ourselves.

“There has always been a systemic problem in the state of Minnesota, and me thinking, common sense that we would get justice. But nevertheless, the system continues to fail black people,” Valerie Castile, Philando’s mother said. “My son loved this city, and the city killed my son and the murderer gets away.”

As the Free Thought Project reported last year, Castile was a ticking time bomb because of law enforcement policy in the United States.

Prior to being pulled over and murdered by Yanez, Castile had been stopped a whopping 52 times. All of these ‘offenses’ were non-criminal, had no victim, and were used to extract thousands from this poor man.

According to the Post, Castile was assessed at least $6,588 in fines and fees, although more than half of the total 86 violations were dismissed, court records show.

Castile was not a criminal. Not only was he not a criminal, Castile was an upstanding member of the community who now mourns his loss, yet he was targetted by police dozens of times. 

Castile was murdered — over a tail light.

But, as the Free Thought has pointed out, this was a near mathematical certainty because Yanez had undergone special training which taught him that the public is the enemy. In May of 2014, reports the Minneapolis Star-Tribune, Yanez underwent a 20-hour seminar on “Street Survival” taught by Illinois-based Calibre Press, which teaches courses on the subject to police officers nationwide.

The company’s “Street Survival Seminar” overview displays a monomaniacal focus on that most important of all policy considerations, “officer safety.” It treats every police encounter as a combat situation in which only one life truly matters – that of the government’s armed emissary, not that of the citizen who is supposedly being protected and served by him.

And now we see the ultimate result of training cops to kill.

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‘Sir, I have a firearm on me’: Graphic dashcam footage of Philando Castile shooting released


Police footage of the moment officer Jeronimo Yanez fatally shot Philando Castile has been released, days after a jury cleared the Minnesota policeman of all charges relating to the death which was livestreamed on Facebook.

After five days of deliberation, a jury found Yanez not guilty of second degree murder as well as two counts of intentional discharge of a firearm. The verdict spurred demonstrations in St Paul, Minnesota where thousands gathered on the streets.

Yanez fired seven bullets at Castile, hitting him five times, after ordering the school cafeteria supervisor to pull his car over because of a broken brake light.

Castile was a licensed gun owner and told Yanez he was carrying a weapon after he gave the officer his insurance.

Diamond Reynolds, who livestreamed her boyfriend bleeding to death – as their four year old sat in the backseat – maintains Castile was not reaching for a gun, but for his license and registration in his wallet.

While the contents of the dashcam footage are largely known, due to the court case, it’s the first time the moments before Reynold’s livestream have been seen by the public.

It shows the two speaking calmly, with Castile heard saying: “Sir, I have to tell you that I do have a firearm on me.”

Yanez says, “Okay,” then tells him not to reach for it.

“I’m not pulling it out,” Castile replies. “Don’t pull it out!” Yanez says in a more panicked tone. “I’m not!” Castile says as Yanez starts firing into the car.

Based upon the release of the dashcam video today, it is clear that Officer Jeronimo Yanez was not in control, was nervous and acted in a reckless, willful and wanton fashion,” Larry R. Rogers Jr, Reynolds’ lawyer said in a statement.

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“System Fails Black People” – Mother Of Murdered Philando Castile


The mother of murdered black motorists Philando Castile says she is “mad as hell”, after a jury returned a not guilty verdict for his death.

Castile’s mother, Valerie, speaking to reporters outside the court after the verdict, said: “I’m mad as hell right now. Yes, I am. My first born son died. … Just because he was a police officer, that makes it OK.”

She said the verdict shows “the system continues to fail black people”, adding, “My son loved this city and this city killed my son and the murderer gets away … Are you kidding me right now? We are not evolving as a civilization, we are devolving.”

Minnesota police officer Jeronimo Yanez, who fatally shot a black motorist during a traffic stop last year, was found not guilty of second-degree manslaughter.

Yanez shot Castile, 32, last July in an incident that drew national attention and local protests when the driver’s girlfriend, who was sitting in the passenger seat, streamed the aftermath on social media.

The officer had testified that he was afraid for his life and that Castile did not follow his orders.

The shooting in the St. Paul suburb of Falcon Heights, like similar incidents across the United States, fueled debate about the appropriate use of force by law enforcement against minorities.

A rally “to demand justice (and) accountability” was planned for Friday night at the state capitol by several groups including the local chapter of Black Lives Matter.

St. Paul Mayor Chris Coleman said the city would open two community centers and a college for community discussion on Friday, Saturday and Monday.

Castile’s sister, Allysza Castile, who spoke after her mother, said, “I will never have faith in the system.”

The jury of seven men and five women, 10 of whom were white and the other two black, deliberated for four days before acquitting Yanez on all charges.

Earl Gray, an attorney for Yanez, welcomed the decision.

“Justice was done,” Gray told Reuters by telephone. “We’re very happy. Yanez was innocent. He was just doing his job.”

Shortly after the verdict, the City of St. Anthony said Yanez will not return to active duty and that it is negotiating a “voluntary separation agreement” with him.

“I extend again my deepest condolences to Philando Castile’s family, to his friends, and to his community,” Governor Mark Dayton said in a statement.

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