ST. PAUL, Minn. (KMSP) - After a year without Philando Castile, the insight Diamond Reynolds gleans from her five-year-old daughter, has kept the single mother going.
“When I feel like I can’t get out of bed, when I feel like I’m not strong enough to keep fighting Dayanna come in and says, ‘Mom, Phil says you can do it. Get up mom, you got to be strong. You can do it,’” said Reynolds.
A year ago, Reynolds live streamed on Facebook Live the aftermath of the fatal shooting of Castile, her boyfriend, by St. Anthony Police Officer Jeronimo Yanez. It happened during a traffic stop in Falcon Heights.
Amid the anguish of suddenly and publicly losing her boyfriend, Reynolds has found solace in the ways her daughter, Dayanna Faith, keeps Castile’s spirit alive.
“Every day it’s a different day saying from her that she says specifically, ‘Phil told me to tell you, you’re beautiful’ and all the things he used to say and that’s what gives me motivation,” said Reynolds.
On the anniversary of his death, Reynolds hosted a celebration at Como Park to honor Castile’s generous spirit.
“It was all my idea from the moment Phil passed away was to give back to the community show the community how you can blossom in dirt,” she said.
The event called, “Black Love,” extended a welcoming atmosphere.
“Black love is multi-race, black love is diverse, black love is multi-cultured,” she said.
Reynolds wants to keep Castile’s memory alive, not just because he was her boyfriend, but also because he was a father figure to Dayanna.
“That’s what makes me want to continue to fight for what I believe in because my daughter is the future, your kids is the future, our kids is the future,” said Reynolds.
Reynolds says despite the acquittal of Officer Yanez, she believes Castile’s death has changed Minnesota. She also says she hopes this event and others like them serve to remind people that he was a kind-hearted person who didn’t deserve to die the way he did.