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7 years ago Thursday, Philando Castile shot dead by officer

Community marks 7 years since officer shot Philando Castile
Community marks 7 years since officer shot Philando Castile 00:28

ST. PAUL, Minn. -- Seven years ago Thursday, Philando Castile was shot and killed by a police officer during a traffic stop in Falcon Heights.

Castile's girlfriend live-streamed the aftermath of the shooting on Facebook, which quickly went viral.

On Thursday, Gov. Tim Walz issued a proclamation that July 6 and 7 would be Philando Castile Remembrance Days.

"Seven years ago today, Philando Castile was killed. Since then, I've been honored to get to know his mother, Valerie, who has channeled her grief into action," Walz tweeted. "We must continue to follow her lead and ensure all Minnesotans are safe, valued, and protected."

The officer involved, Jeronimo Yanez, was charged with manslaughter but was acquitted by a jury. He has since sought a license to teach as a substitute.

The shooting and Yanez's subsequent acquittal led to massive public outcry and protests in Minnesota and beyond. Castile's family has since fought for police accountability laws and an end to pretextual traffic stops.

WCCO spoke with Castile's mother -- Valerie Castile -- in 2021, five years after his death. She said her son was doing the right thing by telling Officer Jeronimo Yanez that he had a license to carry, and his weapon was in the car.

"A casual conversation. It went from zero to a murder, and nobody paid a penalty," Valerie Castile said.

Also in 2021, the city of Falcon Heights announced its decision to implement an honorary street renaming after Philando Castile. The name change was made along the section of Larpenteur Avenue where he was killed.

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