The mother of Philando Castile is fired up over the chief of the National Rifle Association. Valerie Castile believes Wayne LaPierre is a hypocrite for remaining silent after her elementary school cafeteria worker son was shot and killed by Minnesota police in 2016.
“If he really cared about the good guys out here, he would have stood up for my son,” she told the New York Daily News “It’s about money. This country is run off money. Everybody wants a piece.
“My son was one of the good guys, but him being Black, obviously they didn’t see him as a good guy,” added Castile, who said she’s still “mad as hell.” “They’ve yet to say anything about my son.”
The NRA famously did not issue a statement in response to Castile’s shooting death, which was live streamed by his girlfriend Diamond Reynolds on Facebook. Castile had told St. Anthony Police officer Jeronimo Yanez after being stopped for an allegedly broken tail light that he had a gun license. When he reached for his wallet, the now-fired officer shot and killed him in front of Reynolds’s 4-year-old daughter. In a trial, for the shooting, Yanez was acquitted. Reynolds later received an $800,000 settlement.
Yet at a Thursday speech supporting gun control, LaPierre was adamant about “socialists” trying to “exploit tragedy for political gain,” in reference to the Parkland, Fla. school shooting. LaPierre also said, “we must immediately harden our schools.”
After noting that “arming the schools will make them more like a battlefield,” Castile’s mother explained why she felt LaPierre stayed quiet when her son was killed.
“He didn’t say anything because my son was Black,” she said. “My son went through the same programs as every gun owner. But they started nitpicking, ‘He should have done this, he should have done that.’ The bottom line is that he told the officer he had a weapon, and the officer became a selfish man, only thinking about his own life and family. He chose to shoot my son several times. One of the bullets was 16 inches from that baby in the backseat.”
“I don’t think putting more guns in schools is a good idea,” she added. “It could happen to a teacher. It could be the same thing. If you have three words — Black, man, gun — there are no negotiations. They could be killed when all they wanted to do was protect their students.”