Philando Castile’s Mother Offers Support

People are realizing that “this is not a Black or White thing,” Valerie Castile said at a rally for the Australian woman fatally shot by a Minnesota police officer.

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WCCO-TV reports that Valerie Castile and Don Damond, whose loved ones died in separate Minnesota police shootings, met Thursday night outside Damond’s Minneapolis home before a rally for his fiance.

“We’re just here to support the family, that’s all,” Valerie told WCCO-TV.

Former St. Anthony, Minnesota police Officer Jeronimo Yanez killed Castile’s son, Philando Castile, in 2016 during a routine traffic stop. And on July 15, an officer shot Justine Damond (who had already changed her last name from Ruszczyk) after she called 911 to report a suspected sexual assault outside her home.

ABC News said a large crowd met outside Damond’s home before joining the hundreds who gathered at a vigil and rally to demand answers about his fiance’s shooting.

“They’re beginning to understand this is not a Black or White thing. This is a human being thing,” Castile said at the rally, according to CNN. “This is a humanity type thing.”

After a jury acquitted Yanez of manslaughter, the city settled with Castile before she could file a wrongful death civil law suit. The shooting and acquittal sparked widespread protests.

Officer Mohamed Noor, one of two police officers who responded to Justine Damond’s 911 call, shot the Australian woman from the passenger seat of his squad car when she approached. The community is frustrated that officials have said little about the circumstances surrounding the shooting.

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