Philando Castile memorial street signs to be installed

The city of Falcon Heights will unveil new street signs June 9 marking the honorary name of the section of Larpenteur Avenue where Philando Castile was killed by a St. Anthony police officer five years ago.

The signs marking Philando Castile Memorial Avenue will be placed among the existing signs at the intersection of Larpenteur Avenue and Fry Street in Philando’s memory. The first sign will be installed at the garden entry on Larpenteur Avenue and Fry Street at 5 p.m. June 9. Falcon Heights Mayor Randy Gustafson and City Council Member Melanie Leehy will speak.

As the only church in the city, Falcon Heights Church engaged with the community following the July 6, 2016 shooting, offering its sanctuary as a meeting space to discuss the issues and the aftermath.

The honorary name resulted from a community petition that gained more than 20,400 signatures. Results of an online survey by the city of Falcon Heights also showed community support.

Philando’s mother, Valerie Castile, said: “The community has worked so hard over the past five years to get a street sign, and I am so happy it is finally happening along with a lot of other blessings this year. I have prayed so hard to preserve my son’s name and good work.”

Ramsey County Commissioner Trista MatasCastillo, whose district includes Falcon Heights, took immediate interest in memorializing the street. She advocated with city officials to approve the initiative and to ensure that policies prohibiting the memorial name change would not be adopted. She also made connections to clarify the process and express her support to other local officials. The survey of residents and non-residents reflected Falcon Heights’ commitment to community engagement and inclusion and left her feeling very hopeful.

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