In an exclusive interview with CNN this morning, Philando Castile’s family reiterated what we already know: They’re traumatized.
At different points, Castile’s mother, Valerie, his uncle Clarence and his fiancee, Diamond Reynolds, were visibly distressed by the interview process.
”I don’t want to keep reliving this moment,” said Reynolds after anchor Chris Cuomo asked her multiple times to describe what led up to Officer Jeronimo Yanez fatally shooting her fiancee while she and her 4-year-old daughter looked on in horror. ”I want my justice. I want that police officer’s name to go public, and I want people to know who did this to us. Who did this to our city, our state and our country…We didn’t do this to ourselves, and I just want the world to know that.”
Castile’s mother bristled when Cuomo asked the family what they thought about “a calculated plan, assassination, of police officers” last night in Dallas. ”I haven’t had sleep in almost 48 hours,” she said. “So no, I haven’t been watching any television, so I can’t answer that,”
What the family did share, repeatedly, is that they hadn’t yet been allowed to see or officially identify Castile’s body. ”I have not heard anything about his death, or I have not been in contact with any type of investigators,” his mother said. ”No one has reached out to me as far as anything concering him.”
The family, which is planning its own investigation, told Cuomo that the Hennepin County coroner’s office had already performed an autopsy, but were told that they couldn’t view Castilo’s body at the facility. Clarence add they were scheduled to see the body today.
Reynolds, who has been praised for remaining calm immediately after Castile’s killing, nearly broke down when she described her “best friend,” Philando.
“Every woman would want a hard-working man with no kids like my [Philando]. Every woman would want a man to accept their child out of wedlock that was not his. Everyone would want that man to be their son, their brother, their husband—anything. Because he was a family-oriented man,” she said. “He was the most laid-back, loving-est person….And, yes he may have died against his will, but I—and my daughter—will not let his name go down in vain.”
See a fuller video clip here.