By Reg Chapman

MINNEAPOLIS (WCCO) – Family members of Philando Castile have been working tirelessly since his death to help decrease the number of people who die after interacting with police.

Castile was shot and killed by a police officer during a traffic stop in 2016.

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Philando’s Uncle, Clarence Castile, is one family member who has invested his time into learning more about how officers work. As Reg Chapman shows us, it’s all in an effort to help educate the community.

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It’s been almost three years since Philando Castile was killed during a traffic stop by a police officer in Falcon Heights. The pain his family felt then still exists today.

“I think about him every day. I got a big picture of him in my front room next to the TV so I see him every day and I think, ‘What if?’ What if I could have talked to him that day, what if he wouldn’t have went that way,” Clarence Castile said.

Clarence Castile stopped thinking, ‘What if?’ and put action into his desire to bring about change.

“It’s kind of like a calling. Now it’s something I feel like I have to do,” Clarence said.

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Clarence Castile was appointed to serve on the Minnesota Peace Officers Standards board. He also became a St. Paul police reserves officer.

This work is Castile’s way of finding common ground between police and community to prevent what happened to his nephew from happening again.

“We don’t never want use of force to come into play when you are having an interaction with law enforcement,” Castile said.

Castile will share what he’s learned during a community listening session.

“The community will have the opportunity to learn about some of the best practices of police officers. I’m hoping I can empower people with a little education and give them something that can help them breathe a little easier whenever they have the contact with law enforcement,” Castile said.

Castile says the discussion will deal with de-escalation, procedural justice, how to handle a police stop and the use of force when interacting with law enforcement.

Castile believes what community members learn during the session will and can save lives. The listening session will be held Saturday, Feb. 23, at Shiloh Missionary Baptist Church in St. Paul beginning at 1 p.m.

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The event is free to the public.

Reg Chapman