Gov. Dayton Asks Officer Training Fund be Named for Castile

July 06, 2017 04:45 PM

Minnesota Gov. Mark Dayton is requesting that a new law enforcement training fund be named in honor of Philando Castile, the black motorist who was shot to death by a police officer one year ago in a St. Paul suburb.

Minnesota legislators set aside $12 million this year to train police in working with diverse communities. That move followed both Castile's death and the 2015 shooting of Jamar Clark, who was also black, by two white Minneapolis police officers.

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Governor Dayton is urging that the fund be named the "Philando Castile Law Enforcement Training Fund." He made the announcement at the State Capitol in the company of the Castile family. 

He said the new initiative will provide more training opportunities for Minnesota law enforcement officers working in diverse communities.

“Philando Castile’s life was tragically cut short one year ago,” Dayton said. “I believe it is imperative that the leaders in our state’s ever-more-diverse communities and their law enforcement organizations commit – or recommit – themselves to making changes together that will lead toward better relationships among law enforcement officers and members of those communities. One step toward the goal was the Legislature’s bi-partisan appropriation of $12 million for additional Peace Officer training, to be administrated by the POST board.”

The governor appointed Castile’s uncle, Clarence Castile to the Peace Officer Standards and Training Board or POST board. Clarence Castile will volunteer to work alongside community leaders and other law enforcement officials to engage with the community to determine recommendations for officer training standards.

Philando Castile’s mother, Valerie, spoke at the Capitol press conference. She said the fund is not a form of justice for the death of her son, but is a step toward making the community a better place.

“We need this bill and we need extra training for officers to better communicate with people,” Valerie Castile said. "This is no longer about my son -- it's about the issues that we face."

RELATED: Community Remembers Castile One Year after His Death

Dayton says he hopes the fund will help improve police relations with citizens of all colors.

Castile was shot by Officer Jeronimo Yanez seconds after he informed the officer he was carrying a gun. Yanez was acquitted of manslaughter last month after he testified that Castile ignored his commands not to pull out the gun and he feared for his life.

RELATED: A Timeline of Events in the Aftermath of Castile's Death

Credits

Associated Press

(Copyright 2017 by The Associated Press. All Rights Reserved.)

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