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City Of Falcon Heights Announces Honorary Street Renaming After Philando Castile

MINNEAPOLIS (WCCO) - The city of Falcon Heights announced Wednesday its decision to implement an honorary street renaming after Philando Castile, a Black man who was killed by a St. Anthony police officer five years ago.

The name change will take place on the section of Larpenteur Avenue where Castile was killed and will be named Philando Castile Memorial Avenue. City officials say signs marking the section will be placed among the existing signs at the intersection of Larpenteur Avenue and Fry Street in memorium.

The honorary name change was a result of a 20,400 signature-supported petition that circulated Falcon Heights residents and non-residents, gaining the attention of the Falcon Heights City Council. The council then distributed a survey regarding the change and received strong community support for the initiative.

Valerie Castile, Philando's mother, said she is pleased with the support of the name change.

"The community has worked so hard over the past five years to get a street sign and I am so happy it is finally happening along with a lot of other blessings this year. I have prayed so hard to preserve my son's name and good work," Castile said.

A fundraising campaign has also been launched to enhance a peace garden, created by the public, in honor of Castile. The garden was designed to feature and preserve art pieces from community members searching for peace and justice in the wake of his tragic death.

"The Philando Castile Peace Garden is a place where a life changed, and a community changed," City Councilmember Melanie Leehy said previously.

The sign unveiling event will take place at 5 p.m. on Wednesday. The first sign will be installed at the garden entry located at Larpenteur and Fry.

Falcon Heights Mayor Randy Gustafson is set to speak on behalf of the city, and Leehy will also be speaking at the event.

A former St. Anthony police officer, Jeronimo Yanez shot and killed Castile during a traffic stop on Larpenteur Avenue in July of 2016. Castile's girlfriend live-streamed the aftermath of the shooting on Facebook, adding to a national discussion about race and policing that's continued until this day. A jury found Yanez not guilty of manslaughter.

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