ST. PAUL, Minn. (WCCO) — Community leaders from many groups are expressing their outrage over the shooting death of Philando Castile.
Castile worked at the J. J. Hill Montessori Magnet School in St. Paul as a cafeteria supervisor for the last 14 years. The school district describes him as a team player who maintained great relationships with staff and students.READ MORE: 'We're Making Some Adjustments': Worker Shortage Has Metro Transit Pushing Light Rail Service To Every 12 Minutes
One coworker said “Kids loved him. He was quiet, respectful, and kind.”
At a rally Thursday morning in front of the Governor’s Residence, community leaders expressed anger over his death.
“This whole thing has got to change. It can’t continue like it’s been,” Rev. Brian Herron of Zion Baptist Church said.
From members of the clergy, to members of the NAACP and Black Lives Matter, the message was loud and clear.
“He was executed in front of his family. This doesn’t happen to anybody else,” former Minneapolis NAACP President Nathaniel Khaliq said. “Here you have a brother — an innocent individual that was shot multiple times — and no one rendered first aid.”
“It really bothers me that we have to talk about how he was good man and he didn’t have a criminal record. I don’t give a damn. He didn’t deserve to die,” Rev. Herron said.READ MORE: Northern Minnesota Man Pleads Guilty To Abusing Child Over Several Years
What this signifies to us is that black lives don’t matter in the state of Minnesota,” Minneapolis NAACP President Nekima Levy-Pounds said. “”We should be better than this. We should not be the Jim Crow North. That’s exactly what we are.”
They stood in front of the Governor’s Residence with Gov. Dayton in the crowd, and called for action.
“These are your officers on your payroll. Do something about it,” Rashad Turner of Black Lives Matter St. Paul said. “It’s peaceful right now, but I promise you it will not just be peace and chants. We’re gonna get tired of it. I’m tired of it.”
“I just want you to put some action on it. Put some respect on our people’s names. That’s all I want,” Rev. Danny Givens of Above Every Name Ministries said. “I just want it to be real. This isn’t black anger, this is black grief.”
Gov. Dayton says he’s shocked and horrified by what happened to Castile.
“I agree that this kind of behavior is unacceptable and is not the norm in Minnesota,” he said.
Crowds returned Thursday night to the Governor’s Mansion, and were joined by Gov. Dayton, who spoke with Castile’s mother. St. Paul Police say there were about 2,000 people outside the mansion as of 7 p.m.MORE NEWS: Sean McClernon Identified As Driver Killed In Fiery Crash At I-35W & Lake Street Station
As the night progressed, some of the crowd moved down to University Avenue near Lexington Avenue, where they briefly blocked traffic. The group continued moving west as the rally continued.