NEW ORLEANS —Valerie Castile held nothing back as she described feelings of outrage at the lack of impact that video evidence of police shootings has had in convicting officers who disproportionately use deadly force on black people.
“You saw what I saw, you heard what I heard, & you felt what I felt... In a lot of these cases it's cut and f----ing dry',” Castile said at the W.E.B Du Bois Plenary, a discussion which takes place during the National Association of Black Journalists’ annual convention.
Valerie Castile’s son, Philando Castile was shot and killed by Minnesota police officer, Jeronimo Yanez during a traffic stop in July of 2016. Although the shooting was captured on a Facebook Live stream video and although Yanez initially faced several charges, including second-degree manslaughter, a jury acquitted him on all counts in June.
“We have a systemic problem with injustice in Minnesota and across America,” she said after noting that there was no advice she could offer black youth on how to deal with police, because as she stated, her son did everything right and was still killed by law enforcement.
Valerie Castile shared her story alongside Sandra Sterling, whose nephew Alton Sterling was killed during an altercation with police officers in Baton Rouge, Louisiana last summer.