Philando Castile’s Girlfriend Gets $800,000 Settlement
By Ryan Velez
After recording a video of her boyfriend being shot to death by police in Minnesota, the NY Daily News reports that Diamond Reynolds will receive $800,000 in settlements, though this is likely of minimal comfort to her and the daughter that Castile leaves behind.
Reynolds, who was in the car with Castile and her four-year-old daughter at the time of the shooting, will receive $675,000 from the city of St. Anthony, Minn., with an additional $125,000 from the city of Roseville and the League of Minnesota Cities Insurance Trust. Neither was physically injured, but claimed emotional distress and false arrest in connection with the shooting. A portion of the funds will be placed into a trust for her daughter’s education, according to a press release issued by St. Anthony.
St. Anthony Mayor Jerry Faust said, “This settlement resolves all civil litigation stemming from the incidents on July 6, 2016, and opens the door to continued healing within our community.”
Reynolds issued a statement saying, “While no amount of money can change what happened, bring Philando back, or erase the pain that my daughter and I continue to suffer, I do hope that closing this chapter will allow us to get our lives back and move forward.”
News of the settlement agreement comes five months after St. Anthony agreed to pay $2.995 million to Castile’s mother. A 32-year old cafeteria supervisor, Castile was pulled over by officer Anthony Yanez, who asked to see his license and registration. Castile mentioned that he had a licensed gun, and reached for his waistband before being shot four times. Reynolds livestreamed the event over Facebook, sparking protests across the country. Yanez would be acquitted on all counts around a year later.
While this settlement may legally put a close to the Castile case, one could probably lose count of all the cases of police misconduct and shootings that have occurred in the Black community since then. With little changing in terms of legislation or conversation with regard to police supervision, chances are that we will be reporting on similar cases for quite some time. In one silver lining, though, Castile’s name is being used to do good in the community he served. The Philando Feeds the Children Fund created by local college professor Pamela Fergus is collecting money from donors to pay off lunch debt at elementary schools. In life, Castile was known for being dedicated enough to memorize the names of students, keep track of their food allergies, and even pay out of pocket for their lunches in times of need.