Philando Castile’s family and their legal team addressed a small crowd of gathered reporters in front of the Minnesota Capitol on Tuesday morning.
Glenda Hatchett, the former star of the nationally syndicated television show Judge Hatchett, will be representing the Castile family. Hatchett spoke to the crowd, as did Valerie Castile, the mother of Philando Castile. The two were connected by way of Rev. David Keaton.
“My son, he would have been 33 this Saturday,” Ms. Castile said, “He was suddenly taken from us under horrible circumstances. I am devastated but I have to get a message out from him so he is the driving force in me to make sure this doesn’t happen to another mother.”
In the wake of the I-94 riots which resulted in 46 arrests and injuries to 21 police officers, Ms. Castile strongly condemned the violence of the riot. She and Hatchett instead called for change to be achieved through the legislative process, though they declined to endorse any specific proposals in legislation.
“As far as the demonstrations and the protests, I don’t approve of violence because violence begets violence,” Ms. Castile said, “And that is not the way to obtain justice.”
Hatchett promised that a lawsuit was forthcoming from the Castile family, but refused to disclose any details of the pending suit, saying it would become a matter of public record once it had been filed.
“I will not rest until justice is done,” Hatchett said, “This time he wasn’t running from the police. This time he wasn’t fighting with the police. This time he was not trying to get his gun. This time he was not acting irresponsibly. This time he was not doing anything unlawful.”
Hatchett called for both the Minnesota and federal governments to undergo a full examination of law enforcement agencies’ hiring, retention, and discipline procedures. When asked about proposals to require law enforcement officials to carry their own insurance however, Hatchett was hesitant to endorse the proposal as it may prevent officers from doing their jobs correctly.
“We also want to be very clear that we are not going to take definitive positions on proposed legislation without us having seen the language in that legislation,” Hatchett said, “The last thing we want to do is penalize good police officers and deter them from wanting to be of service.”
Hatchett was enthusiastic in her support of the idea of requiring more records of police stops, especially regarding the demographic breakdown of such stops and why the stops were made.
There will be a service for Philando Castile on Thursday July 14th. Arrangements were made by his uncle, Clarence Castile. A procession will start at Brooks Funeral Home at 10 a.m., arriving at the St. Paul Cathedral at 11, with an hour long viewing prior to the service starting at noon.
“My son is a king. He is also a martyr,” Ms. Castile said of her son, “So I thought that that would be the best place for him to have his service.”