MINNEAPOLIS (WCCO) — The mother of Philando Castile is hoping a new product will keep drivers and police officers safe.

Castile was shot and killed during a traffic stop in Falcon Heights in July 2016. The officer thought he was reaching for a gun.

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Valerie Castile says she first heard about the “Not Reaching” pouch in 2018. It was invented by a Virginia mom whose son’s birthday fell on the same day Philando Castile died.

“Her celebrating her son’s birthday and me losing my son, she felt compelled to do something,” Valerie Castile said.

Drivers can put their license and registration in the pouch and then attach it to the driver’s side air vent. During a traffic stop, officers can see the information and drivers can avoid sudden movements.

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“We do not, I repeat, we do not want another Philando Castile anywhere in this country,” Valerie Castile said.

She hopes to distribute the pouches to schools that teach driver’s ed, and also to organizations like the Hallie Q. Brown Center and the Truce Center in St. Paul.

“We can’t let a small amount of money stop us from something that could be huge and save a life,” Miki Lewis, founder of the 8218 Truce Center, said.

The pouches are $10 each, and more information can be found at notreaching.com.

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“Safety. That is our ultimate goal. To educate kids and create different things where they will be safe and the police will be safe. It’s all about safety on both ends,” Valerie Castile said. “At the end of the day everybody wants to go home.”

John Lauritsen