Philando Castile’s mother is calling out NRA president Wayne LaPierre for hypocrisy, saying his silence after her son’s death proves he has ulterior motives.
“If he really cared about the good guys out here, he would have stood up for my son. It’s about money. This country is run off money. Everybody wants a piece,” Valerie Castile told the New York Daily News.
“My son was one of the good guys, but him being black, obviously they didn’t see him as a good guy. They’ve yet to say anything about my son.”
Philando Castile was killed in July 2016 after St. Anthony Police officer Jeronimo Yanez shot him multiple times as he reached for his wallet during a traffic stop. Castile informed Yanez that he had a gun in the vehicle and was licensed to carry. His girlfriend, Diamond Reynolds and her four-year-old daughter were in the car.
Yanez is no longer on the police force and was acquitted of charges in June 2017. Valerie later received a $3 million settlement from the city of St. Anthony.
She is speaking out after LaPierre called for guns in schools in response to the Parkland, Florida, shooting during a speech Thursday. She believes his suggestion will make the issue worse.
“Arming the schools will make them more like a battlefield. If everyone has guns, bullets will be flying everywhere. You’ll end up with more bodies,” she said.
Her son’s story has drawn new attention since Castile was a cafeteria employee at an elementary school. His mother says he was dedicated to his job and cared about the kids.
“He loved the kids. He never took the summer vacation. He knew all those children’s names and all their allergies,” she said.
“He was a good guy. He went through a rigorous process to get his gun. He told the truth and let the officer know he had it. What happened to my good guy? He was shot down like an animal. He was still in his seatbelt,” she continued. “That car was his coffin.”
She fears another person could end up with the same fate, if guns are placed in schools; especially if it is a Black man.
“It could happen to a teacher. It could be the same thing. If you have three words — black, man, gun — there are no negotiations” she said. “They could be killed when all they wanted to do was protect their students.”