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Family of Slain US Black Motorist Reaches $3 Million Settlement

  • VOA News

FILE - Valerie Castile, the mother of Philando Castile, looks at a photo button of her son during a press conference on the state capitol grounds in Saint Paul, Minnesota, July 12, 2016.

A settlement has been reached for the family of a black motorist whose dying moments were caught on a Facebook livestream after he was shot by a police officer last year in the U.S. state of Minnesota.

The nearly $3 million settlement will be paid to the family of Philando Castile.

His family represented by his mother, Valerie Castile, will bypass any federal wrongful death or civil rights lawsuits arising from his death.

Castile was at a traffic stop when he was fatally shot by St. Anthony police officer Jeronimo Yanez after Castile told Yanez he was armed. The 32-year-old was supposedly reaching for something when he was shot seven times at close range.

People protest in support of Philando Castile during a rally after a jury found St. Anthony Police Department officer Jeronimo Yanez not guilty of second-degree manslaughter in the death of Castile, in St. Paul, Minnesota, June 16, 2017.
People protest in support of Philando Castile during a rally after a jury found St. Anthony Police Department officer Jeronimo Yanez not guilty of second-degree manslaughter in the death of Castile, in St. Paul, Minnesota, June 16, 2017.

Earlier this month, Yanez was acquitted of manslaughter and other charges, sparking days of protests that ended with 18 arrests.

A joint statement released Monday by the city of St. Anthony and the attorneys representing the Castile family said, "No amount of money could ever replace Philando. With resolution of the claims the family will continue to deal with their loss through the important work of the Philando Castile Relief Foundation."

The squad car video shows the shooting, but does not show the build up to the shooting, creating room for debate. In her livestream video, Castile's girlfriend, Diamond Reynolds, says that Castile was reaching for his wallet, not his gun. Castile had a permit for his gun.

FILE - Diamond Reynolds weeps after she recounts the incidents that led to the fatal shooting of her boyfriend Philando Castile by Minneapolis area police during a traffic stop.
FILE - Diamond Reynolds weeps after she recounts the incidents that led to the fatal shooting of her boyfriend Philando Castile by Minneapolis area police during a traffic stop.

Yanez testified earlier this month, describing how he feared for his life and said that Castile ignored his pleas to not pull out his gun. The squad car footage that captured the moments before the shooting shows Castile saying, "I'm not pulling it out" before Yanez opened fire.

The city of St. Anthony is offering Yanez a "voluntary separation agreement" from the police department, in which he would no longer be an on-duty officer.

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