For Philando Castile’s mother, the tragic death of George Floyd has reopened the wound.
“I was mad as hell… I said, Here we go again,” Valerie Castile told VICE News. “I cried for that man just like I cried for my son.”
Philando’s shooting death at the hands of a Minnesota cop during a routine traffic stop in 2016, which was live-streamed on Facebook by his girlfriend, sparked a wave of protests in the Twin Cities and across the country. After his death, the Castile family founded the Philando Castile Relief Foundation, which provides funds to victims of gun and police violence.
Valerie Castile has repeatedly made direct pleas to lawmakers for police reform, stressing the need for change and warning that local black residents were "one degree from blowing up."
"I really did this state a solid in 2016 where I publicly asked people not to tear this motherfucker up," she added. "But obviously what I was saying fell on deaf ears and a hard heart because they didn't hear me."
In June of 2017, Jeronimo Yanez, the officer who fatally shot Castile, was acquitted on all charges by a jury in Minnesota.
Valerie Castile was not surprised by the nationwide outburst of protests over the death of George Floyd, saying it was just a matter of time.
"You were warned four years ago that you fucked up and you can't keep doing people like you doing. You know, a tyrant only reigns for so long. And if you keep oppressing people, they’re going to rebel."
Valerie Castile, mother of Philando Castile, a black man killed by a Minnistota police officer during a routine traffic stop in 2016, said the tragic death of George Floyd has reopened a tender wound. (VICE News Tonight/VICE TV)