Philando Castile family reaches $3M settlement in death


The police officer, Jeronimo Yanez, was acquitted earlier this month of second degree manslaughter as well as two counts of intentionally discharging a firearm under circumstances that endanger the safety of another person. Castile informed Yanez that he was carrying a concealed weapon, for which he had a permit. Little girl in vehicle when Philando Castile was shot attends his funeralThe shooting gained widespread attention after Castile's girlfriend, who was in the auto with her then-4-year-old daughter, livestreamed its gruesome aftermath on Facebook.

The statement goes on to say that the involved parties were motivated to move "expeditiously" so that everyone involved, including Valerie Castile and the residents of St. Anthony, can "allow the process of healing to move forward". "The City and the Trustee (Valerie Castile) were able to reach this agreement avoiding a federal civil rights lawsuit which may have taken years to work its way through the courts exacerbating the suffering of the family and of the community".

The family will use the settlement to fund the Philando Castile Relief Foundation. The foundation aims to helps other victims of gun violence. Castile was killed July 6 during a traffic stop, and his girlfriend streamed the shooting's aftermath on Facebook Live. 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.

Of course, it isn't reasonable to expect an individual police officer to cough up $3 million - but when cops do pay their own settlements (or at least a significant portion of them), the award amount tends to be way less, in the thousands instead of the millions.

The family of Michael Brown, a black teenager who was fatally shot by a white police officer in Ferguson, Missouri, settled its lawsuit against Ferguson for $1.5 million on June 23.

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The Castile settlement is almost double the amount of what the Brown family received.

The officer ordered Castile to produce his driver's license and then shot him as he reached for it. Yanez claimed he feared for his life.

Following Yanez's acquittal, St Anthony said it would no longer employ him as a police officer. The squad auto footage that captured the moments before the shooting shows Castile saying, "I'm not pulling it out" before Yanez opened fire.

The death of Philando Castile - one in a series of high-profile shootings of African-Americans by police - stunned the nation.

As to whether the agreement equals an admission of guilt, Castile family attorney Robert Bennett says "well there's no formal admission, but you can take what you will from the fact that nearly $3 million is being paid". The department serves the cities of St. Anthony, Lauderdale and Falcon Heights, where the shooting occurred. Messages left with the city were not immediately returned.