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Philando Castile honored at community gathering

Updated: August 18, 2019 10:28 PM

The community gathered in St. Paul to celebrate the life of Philando Castile.

Former St. Anthony police officer Jeronimo Yanez  shot and killed Castile during a traffic stop back in 2016. The event Sunday afternoon included speeches, poetry readings and a concert to honor Castile.

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“If he saw this he would be elated. He really would be delighted on this,” said Fela Burch, Castile’s friend.

“He was never angry, never loud, never got in your face,”Gregory Crockett, another friend of Castile, said. 

Castile was also a nutrition services supervisor at J. J. Hill Montessori. Many say he personally knew the names of 500 students and their food allergies. 

RELATED:First statewide police use of force panel meeting meets protests, sparks renewed conversation

His death prompted cries for change, especially for officer use-of-force policies in Minnesota. Castile's mother voiced her pain at a discussion panel on that issue inside the Capitol Saturday. 

"I adored my son. And I did everything humanly possible to protect my son,” said Valerie Castile, Philando Castile’s mother.

The Philando Castile scholarship foundation has brought in over $170,000 to help pay for college tuition, including three new recipients presented with scholarships over the weekend. 

But the fundraising event was as much of an opportunity to discuss gun reform and officer use of deadly force as it was for healing for those in attendance.  

“Even though he wasn't killed by an AK 47 or anything like that, it was still a gun that killed him in the hands of somebody who didn't think before he shot,” said Mary Mackbee, Castile’s principal.

Castile is remembered as a role model student who inspired others to further their education too. 

“What I want to do is just keep his memory going, his legacy,” said Burch.

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Crystal Bui

Copyright 2019 - KSTP-TV, LLC A Hubbard Broadcasting Company

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