MINNEAPOLIS (WCCO) — A vote against naming a new training fund after Philando Castile has prompted his uncle to work harder to repair community-police relations.
Clarence Castile was appointed to the POST board by Gov. Mark Dayton. He says he’s committed to making sure Police and Community are engaged and working together.
“I as being optimistic — overly optimistic — and hopeful that it would go the other way,” Clarence Castile said.
Castile says his optimism turned to frustration after learning his vote was only one of two in favor of naming a police training fund after his nephew, Philando Castile. He says he and his sister — Philando’s mother, Valerie Castile — were disappointed in the vote, but determined to move forward.
“The fact that my nephew was shot and killed by a police officer — I’m still willing to go and do this work as a reserve officer, and work on the POST board,” Clarence Castile said. “I think that’s a lot to say about Castile character.”
Castile hopes Minnesota will follow states like Arizona — the first state to instruct armed drivers on what to do when stopped by police to avoid a confrontation. The updated driver’s manual was inspired by the traffic stop that led to Philando Castile’s death.
Members of the Minnesota POST board say naming appropriations from the legislature is something it has never done before.
“What we want to focus on is the work at hand — being good stewards of the training funds, making sure the learning objectives are appropriate and that we actually implement this plan effectively, to train 11,000 Minnesota officers in the next four to five years,” former Minnesota POST director Nathan Gove said.
Castile says he will not stop until Philando’s name and plight are never forgotten.
“As well as keeping in the mind of people to work at not letting things like that happen again,” Castile said.
Before the new funding, Minnesota spent about $312 per officer on training. The POST board will focus on using the $12 million for additional training statewide for peace officers.