ST. PAUL, Minn. (WCCO) — After several emotional protests since his death, some people chose to remember the way Philando Castile passed away on the day he was to celebrate his life.
“The community is being uplifted in these times that are trying to our spirits,” said Jacob Wadda.READ MORE: Judge To Decide On Evidence Allowed At Kyle Rittenhouse Trial
One of many people who have slept outside the Governor’s Mansion for the past 10 days, Wadda thought a small but powerful gesture made sense on what would have been Castile’s 33rd birthday.
Demonstrators released 33 white balloons to honor Castile.
“What you’re seeing is obviously a deep, deep demonstration of love,” Wadda said.
“We didn’t want to have to be here and establish this as a small town within this town.”
The demonstrators are demanding justice for Castile.
“They say, ‘Sit back and trust us,’ and they keep saying that, so right now, no, you’ve broken the trust,” Wadda said.READ MORE: Minnesota Weather: Severe Weather Threat Fizzles, But More Heavy Rainfall Coming Overnight
To them, justice means the officer who shot and killed Castile would be charged with a crime and found guilty. They say they won’t leave the street until that happens.
Through many emotional protests since his death, those camped outside the mansion find Castile’s birthday especially hard to take.
“It is the opposite of his existence right now,” Wadda said.
Trying to celebrate 32 years for a man who will never see 33.
Elsewhere in St. Paul, a group used an annual event celebrating the Rondo neighborhood in St. Paul to remember Castile.
They referred to the Rondo Days celebration as “Philando Days” this year.
Another protest is planned for Sunday at 1 p.m. Black Lives Matter St. Paul plans to demonstrate at Rosedale Center.
The group wants to pressure the city of Falcon Heights to terminate its contract with St. Anthony Police.MORE NEWS: What Is The Key To A Long Life?
They haven’t revealed the exact location of the protest within the mall. A mall spokesperson says the mall plans to stay open during the protest.