Philando Castile’s mother wants to end qualified immunity (QI). Tuesday, July 5, was the fifth anniversary of Philando Castile’s death. In 2016, a bad cop fatally shot Philando during a traffic stop in Minneapolis. Although the police department fired the officer who killed the young man, there was no justice. A jury acquitted the bad cop. He wasn’t held accountable.
Following Philando Castile’s death, his mother, Valerie Castile, became a police-reform advocate. Like Sheen McClain, the mother of Elijah McClain, Valerie calls for justice in her son’s memory.
And just like Sheen McClain, Valerie Castile wants to end QI.
As WCCO reports, Valerie Castile spoke at a rally outside the Minnesota governor’s mansion. Organizers held this rally in honor of Valerie’s son, Philando. During the event, she spoke about the importance of police reform. Per the news outlet, Philando Castile’s mother “wants qualified immunity… done away with.”
The lack of police accountability is devastating. Valerie Castile knows this firsthand. That’s why she speaks out against qualified immunity. Her son’s death sparked nationwide outrage. Yet, five years later, qualified immunity still shields bad cops. “I just can’t believe that it has been this long and not too much has changed,” Philando Castile’s mother said, per WCCO.
However, Valerie Castile remains determined. She finds strength in her son’s memory. And thanks in part to her efforts, the demand for police accountability has grown. For example, everyone from law professors to athletes to business leaders have written open letters calling for an end to qualified immunity. Plus, states like Colorado and New Mexico abolished the doctrine. And, Ben Cohen and Jerry Greenfield, co-founders of Ben & Jerry’s, established the Campaign to End Qualified Immunity.
Philando Castile should be alive today. Sadly, the system denied him justice. Yet, the fight for justice and accountability continues forward. And there’s no denying that the call to end qualified immunity grows louder.
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