The mother and fiancée of Philando Castile lashed out at CNN’s Chris Cuomo for asking tone-deaf questions about Dallas and their loved one’s fatal shooting by police.
Cuomo started the interview Friday morning on “New Day” by asking Castile about her reaction to the fatal shootings of five police officers and the wounding of six others in Dallas, and she reacted in bewilderment.
“Me? I don’t know anything about what happened in Dallas,” Castile said. “I’m sure that what we have here planned in the state of Minnesota is not of that caliber. We’re having a peaceful protest, and I don’t know anything about what happened in Dallas. My son died just the other day, and I haven’t had sleep in almost 48 hours. So no, I haven’t been watching any television, so I can’t answer that.”
Diamond Reynolds described how Castile was pulled over for a broken tail light and then gunned down by officers in front of her and her 4-year-old daughter after complying with a police order to retrieve his wallet from his pocket.
She recorded video of the fatal traffic stop that she streamed live on Facebook, setting off nationwide outrage over the shooting — and she’s tired of reliving the tragedy.
“I’m grieving, I’m grieving the loss of a loved one, of a best friend, of a role model, and a father figure to my child,” Reynolds said. “You guys are constantly keep asking me the same disturbing questions, and I already made my statement. I don’t want to keep reliving this moment. I want my justice.”
The 32-year-old Castile’s mother, Valerie Castile, said she still hasn’t heard from any investigators or seen her son’s body since he was shot and killed on Wednesday evening.
“No one has reached out to me as far as anything concerning him,” Castile said. “As a matter of fact, since my son has been killed, murdered, executed by the state of Minnesota’s police officers, I have not yet to see his body.”
She told Cuomo that she was initially kept from seeing his body until an autopsy had been conducted, but she said police have not told her why she cannot identify her son’s remains.
“I don’t understand why it was important for them to have dental records or fingerprints because I think my eyes could inform them that this is my son,” Castile said.
She said an official told her after the autopsy that family members are not allowed to view bodies at the coroner’s office.
“I was denied access to my son’s body, and I have yet to see them now,” Castile said.
Reynolds said her fiancée’s death was part of a larger issue of racism, policing and gun violence.
“This thing that has happened in Dallas, it was not because of something that transpired in Minnesota,” she said. “This is bigger than Philando, this is bigger than Trayvon Martin, this is bigger than Sandra Bland, this is bigger than all of us. So today, I just want justice for everyone.”
— Nicola_A_Menzie (@namenzie) July 8, 2016