The mother of Philando Castile, a black motorist killed by a Minnesota police officer last year, has reached a nearly $3 million settlement in his death, according to an announcement Monday by her attorneys and the Minneapolis suburb that employed the officer.
The settlement to be paid to Valerie Castile will avoid a federal wrongful death lawsuit stemming from Philando Castile’s death. The 32-year-old elementary school cafeteria worker was killed by St. Anthony officer Jeronimo Yanez during a traffic stop July 6 after Castile told the officer he was armed. Castile had a permit for his gun. The shooting gained widespread attention after Castile’s girlfriend, who was in the car with her then-4-year-old daughter, livestreamed its gruesome aftermath on Facebook.
Yanez, who is Latino, was acquitted of manslaughter and other charges earlier this month. The jury’s decision prompted days of protests, including one in St. Paul that shut down Interstate 94 for hours and ended with 18 arrests.The $2.995 million settlement will be paid by the League of Minnesota Cities Insurance Trust, which holds the insurance policy for the city of St. Anthony. It requires approval by a state court, which could take several weeks.
Robert Bennett, an attorney for Valerie Castile, said the idea behind the settlement was to move expeditiously rather than have the case drawn out in federal court, a process that would “exacerbate and reopen terrible wounds.” The settlement will also allow the family, the city and community to work toward healing. Bennett said it also will allow Valerie Castile to do the work she plans through the Philando Castile Relief Foundation. A Facebook page for the nonprofit foundation says it was established to help victims of gun violence and to provide relief for the grieving.