Scholarship and Police Training Fund Will Keep Philando Castile’s Name Alive

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Police have shot and killed at least 175 black men so far this year, but it’s probably safe to say that none of them have been remembered like Philando Castile, who was gunned down by a cop last July in Falcon Heights, Minn.

In most deadly police shootings involving a black man, tearful well-wishers place a framed photograph of the victim, flowers, toys and balloons on the site where he died. Well-wishers also attend a church service to honor the victim. Some speakers angrily vow some type of action. There also are street demonstrations–some violent, others silent–before the victim’s name fades from memory.

The friends and high school classmates of Castile, however, are honoring him in a more enduring way. They have established and funded a college scholarship in his name and Minnesota Gov. Mark Dayton wants a new $12 million investment in law enforcement training named the “Philando Castile Law Enforcement Training Fund.”

Gov. Dayton made his recommendation in a July 6, 2017, letter to the Peace Officer Standards and Training Board (POST).

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From left to right: Philando’s sister, Allysza Castile; Marques Watson-Taylor, the first Philando Castile Memorial Scholarship recipient; and Valerie Castile, Philando’s mother.


“Philando Castile’s life was tragically cut short one year ago today,” Gov. Dayton wrote. “I believe it is imperative that the leaders in our state’s ever- more-diverse communities in our law enforcement organizations commit—or recommit—themselves to making changes together that will lead toward better relationships among law enforcement officers and members of those communities. One important step toward that goal was the legislature’s bi-partisan appreciation of $12 million for additional peace officer training, to be administered by the POST board.”

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