Funeral Held for Philando Castile

The funeral for Philando Castile, a 32-year-old Black man fatally wounded by police during a routine traffic stop, has concluded.

The Minnesota native was killed last week after an encounter with police in Falcon Heights, a suburb of St. Paul on July 6. The public service for the St. Paul native lasted about 90 minutes at St. Paul Cathedral.

The Star Tribune reports Gov. Mark Dayton, who suggested race played a role in Castile’s death, attended the service.

Castile’s death came just a day after 37-year-old Baton Rouge native Alton Sterling was fatally gunned down by two white police officers. Their deaths sparked widespread protests nationwide and added fuel to the debate about how law enforcement officials interact with African Americans.

“This day will have been a good day,” the Rev. John Ubel said, if it brings people of different backgrounds together and gives them a “tiny measure of peace.”

Fifteen hundred people attended the funeral.

“My brother my hero, your heart was so pure and solid as gold …I love you forever and your legacy will continue to live on. You made history, you opened their eyes,” Castile’s sister, Allysza Castile, wrote in the funeral program.

Castile’s death is being nvestigated by the state Bureau of Criminal Apprehension. Jeronimo Yanez, the officer who shot Castile, has been placed on paid administrative leave.