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Mother who lost son to police brutality wants to help others

As a child, young people are taught to respect those in authority. While the vast majority of law enforcement are upright and honorable public servants who are worthy of that respect, there have been several recent instances when alleged police brutality has escalated beyond the use of responsible force. Arizona residents are likely aware of one infamous case that made headlines nationwide.

In July 2016, an African-American man was pulled over by police in another state. Somehow, the situation quickly got out of control, and the officer conducting the stop shot and killed the man as he sat in his vehicle. The mother of that victim recently spoke out about the loss of her son. She wants to help other families who have also lost loved ones due to police brutality or gun violence.

The officer who killed her son was initially facing multiple serious charges in relation to the shooting of Philando Castile. However, in spite of the dash cam recording that captured the death, a jury found the officer not guilty. The Minnesota city for whom the police officer was employed settled with the woman for an estimated $3 million. She is now using a portion of that money to fund her work with the foundation she started to help educate other African-Americans about the need to report any inappropriate contact that they have with law enforcement. 

She believes that early reporting of any questionable actions or behaviors by police officers during encounters with the African-Americans in their communities could prevent an officer from becoming more abusive in the future. Once there are notations in an officer's work file, supervisors may be able to take steps to ensure the public is protected from other incidents that could lead to police brutality. In fact, the video tape that captured the death of Castile is now used as a training aid for other police officers. Arizona residents who believe that their rights have been violated or that they have been a victim of abuse or brutality are entitled to protect their rights and seek justice through the civil court system.

Source: NBC News, "'You Could Be Next': Philando Castile's Mom Speaks Out on Police Brutality", Melissa Noel, Aug. 27, 2017

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