Community Remembers Castile 1 Year after His Death

July 06, 2017 11:44 AM

Thursday marks one year since Philando Castile was shot and killed by a St. Anthony police officer during a traffic stop in Falcon Heights.

On July 6, 2016, Castile was fatally shot by former officer Jeronimo Yanez, who was acquitted of manslaughter charges last month.

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Castile’s death, and its aftermath, received national attention.

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

The Philando Castile Relief Foundation is calling on the community to join them for a “Celebration of Life” at Gibbs Farm in Falcon Heights, near the location where the deadly shooting took place.

The event starts around 6:30 p.m. Organizers from the Philando Castile Relief Foundation say there will be guest speakers, music and food.

Any monetary donations will go toward the Philando Castile Relief Foundation and scholarship fund. In early June, an 18-year-old student was the recipient of the first Philando Castile Central Honor Award.

Following the event, there will be a candle light vigil at 9:15 p.m. It will be held at the Philando Castile Peace Garden on Larpenteur Avenue. The property belongs to the Minnesota State Fair, which has agreed to help build a permanent memorial by next spring.

The peace garden and nearby mural have been a source for healing for children at J.J. Hill Montessori School.

Castile was a cafeteria worker at J.J. Hill Montessori for years. He was known for his high fives and good mornings.

Last month, school staff had a conversation with students about Castile's death.

"Some people might say they're in heaven, some people say they've gone to a faraway land where there is no sorrow … those are the simple terms we use to explain death to a 5-year-old,” Fatima Lawson, principal of J.J. Hill Montessori, said.

Ahead of the celebration Thursday night, Castile's girlfriend, Diamond Reynolds, will be holding a celebration at the Como Park Pavilion in St. Paul around 3 p.m. Reynolds and her young daughter were in the car with Castile when he was fatally shot.

On Friday, the Philando Castile Relief Foundation will hold a “Unity and Peace Lantern Release” in Falcon Heights.

RELATED: Timeline: KSTP Coverage of the Yanez Trial

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