Philando Castile was taken to Hennepin County Medical Center on Wednesday after police shot him several times, Valerie Castile said on CNN’s “New Day.” By the time she arrived at the hospital, he was already dead.
“They didn’t let me see my son’s body at all,” she said. “I have not identified my son’s body because they didn’t let me.”
Castile described her son as a “laid-back, quiet individual” who worked hard and paid taxes. “I did everything right as a parent,” she said.
She said her son had spent time at her house earlier in the day on Wednesday. She rushed to the scene after her daughter watched the video, which was shot using Facebook Live. “I didn’t want to talk to anyone, I just wanted to know where my son was because I didn’t want my son to die alone,” she said.
Warning: This video contains images that could be disturbing to some readers.
The 10-minute video of the incident, which took place in Falcon Heights, Minnesota, was posted to Facebook by user Lavish Reynolds. It was taken down for several hours Wednesday night and then re-uploaded with a warning about its graphic content.
“I personally didn’t see it, but I knew something was going on,” Castile said.
She expressed her gratitude to her son’s girlfriend for making the tragedy public because otherwise, “we never would know exactly what happened.”
Clarence Castile, Philando’s uncle, said he did watch the video.
“I saw my nephew, shot by a man, clinging to his life, with no help,” he said on CNN Thursday, alongside Philando’s mother.
Neither family member minced words in communicating their dismay toward law enforcement.
The people who are supposed to keep the community safe “end up being our executioners,” Clarence Castile said.
“I never once in my life would have thought that my son would be killed by the persons meant to protect and serve him,” Valerie Castile added.
“We’re being hunted every day. It’s a silent war against African-American people every day,” she said. “We’re never free.”