A day hasn't passed since Philando Castile's death at the hands of a police officer was broadcast on Facebook for the world to see. But that hasn't stopped his mother, Valerie Castile, from speaking out about his killing.
In a 22-minute interview with CNN's Alisyn Camerota on Thursday, Castile appeared with her brother, Clarence Castile, and expressed her anger and grief over losing her child.
More than anything else, she despaired over the fact that she had done everything she could to prepare her son to survive an encounter with the police, having taught him from a young age to obey officers, and he still ended up shot:
Comply. The key thing in order to try to survive being stopped by the police is to comply. Whatever they ask you to do, do it. Don't say nothing. Just do whatever they want you to do. So what's the difference with complying if you get killed anyway?
She revealed that both Philando and one of her other daughters had legally-obtained concealed carry permits. In a grim omen of what was to happen later that evening, Valerie Castile told CNN the last time her son, he was talking with his sister about whether the permit might be more danger than its worth.
They had a conversation about the concealed carry permits they both had. They said to be cautious and my daughter said "You know what, I don't even want to carry my gun because I'm afraid they'll shoot me first and ask questions later."
She went on to call for justice for her dead son and for reforms to be made in the criminal justice system.
These things are happening because there are no checks and balances in the justice system. And that a lot of our African American men, women and children are being executed by the police and there are no consequences so in essence, I feel it's becoming more and more repetitive. Every day you hear of another black person being shot down, gunned down by the people who are supposed to protect us. My son was a law-abiding citizen and he did nothing wrong. He had a permit to carry. But with all that, trying to do the right things and live accordingly and abide the law, he was killed by the law. I am outraged.
Clarence Castile, Philando's uncle, said the last time he saw his nephew was on Mother's Day when they talked about his plans for the future.
The last time I seen my nephew was on Mother's Day when I invited my sisters and nieces to my house for dinner on Mother's Day. Philando, Diamond and the baby came over. I asked him how his job was going. We ended up talking about retirement, what kind of money he's putting away for retirement and things like that.
He also sharply criticized the cycle of police violence against black people in the U.S.
I see a young man, helpless, shot for no apparent reason. I saw my nephew shot by a man … clinging to his life with no help. It was the most horrific thing I've ever seen in my life. We hear about things like this happening all the time around the United States and the world, people being harmed and abused by people we're supposed to trust with our lives. People that are supposed to serve and protect us. They tend to be our executioners and judges and murderers.
Both Clarence and Valerie Castile thanked Philando's girlfriend, Lavish Reynolds, for recording and broadcasting footage of his shooting, although Valerie said she had not watched the video because she did not want to remember her son that way.