Police Training Changes in wake of Castile Anniversary

Big changes are coming to police precincts around the State as the one year anniversary of Philando Castile’s death rolls around.

Philando Castile, Jeronimo, Yanez
Image Credit: Facebook

MINNEAPOLIS —  “This is not about my son anymore,” Valerie Castile said at a press conference held by Governor Mark Dayton Thursday morning.

On the one year anniversary of the death of Philando Castile, the way law enforcement conducts itself in the field is changing.

Dayton announced the creation of the Philando Castile Law Enforcement Training Fund.

Castile was shot and killed during a routine traffic stop by former St. Anthony Police Officer Jeronimo Yanez. Yanez was acquitted of manslaughter charges in June.

According to the governor’s office, the fund is comprised of $12 million in funding, which was approved by the legislature this year to provide training for police officers on how to work with minority communities.

The fund will be run through the Peace Officer Standards and Training Board.  

“My hope is that the fund will provide training in the best practices to improve law enforcement’s relationship with people in all Minnesota communities, and will also create partnerships, in which community and law enforcement leaders are together. Designing and delivering that training,” Dayton said.

Clarence Castile, the uncle of Philando Castile, was also appointed to the Governor’s Council on Law Enforcement and Community Relations, which according to the governor’s office, seeks to improve the the relationship between officers and local communities by “reviewing best practices, and recommending specific reforms.”

This comes on the heels of a new law enacted requiring Minnesota police officers to have de-escalation training.

According to KARE11, de-escalation teaches officers to use little to no force when dealing with potential suspects. The training has been offered so officers understand how to deal with those who have mental disabilities.

Concerns regarding police training rose once again following the death of Charleena Lyles, a 30-year-old pregnant mother of three who suffered from a mental illness. She was shot and killed by two Seattle police officers after she brandished two kitchen knives towards the officers. The AP reports the officers had crisis training.

Preya Samsundar

Preya Samsundar was born and raised in Minneapolis, MN. She graduated from the University of Minnesota - Twin Cities this Spring with a B.A. in Political Science and Sociology, with a minor in Strategic Communications. Preya has previously worked on several State Campaign Races.