On Thursday, Minnesota Gov. Mark Dayton proposed that a new $12 million law enforcement training fund carry the name of Castile, who was fatally shot by St. Anthony police Officer Jeronimo Yanez during a routine traffic stop. The announcement, praised by Castile’s family, marked the one-year anniversary of the shooting and underscored concerns in Minnesota’s Black community about police brutality.
Speaking at the state Capitol, surrounded by Castile’s family, Dayton referred to the shooting of 32-year-old Castile as “one of the most traumatic” events. He stressed the need for the fund to support police training that will help cops and residents to live together “peacefully, harmoniously [and] constructively.”
Dayton’s request was well-received by Castile’s mother, Valerie Castile, who believes police and community members need more direction about how to interact with one another.
“We need this extra training for our police officers,” Valerie Castile said. “Because at the end of the day everyone wants to go home.”
The money will likely be divided and distributed among police departments across Minnesota. The Peace Officer Standards and Training Board, a group of law enforcement officers and community members, will determine how to specifically use the new training dollars, which were approved by the state legislature earlier this year.
However, the POST board must approve Dayton’s proposal–a move that a coalition of the state’s police unions opposes. The coalition argues that naming the fund for Castile would “fuel deeper divisions between people of color and law enforcement,” according to The Star Tribune.
To mark the anniversary of his death, Castile’s family and friends planned to gather Thursday evening in the Falcon Heights suburb where the Black motorist was killed. The moments after Castile was shot were captured in a Facebook live stream by his girlfriend, Diamond Reynolds, who was in the vehicle with him and her four-year-old daughter at the time of his death.
Yanez was acquitted last month of second-degree manslaughter and two counts of reckless discharge of a firearm, despite Black Lives Matter protests and nationwide cries for justice.