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'United for Philando': Cathedral service commemorates Castile

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Funeral for Philando Castile
Mourners comfort Diamond Reynolds, Philando Castile's girlfriend, outside his visitation and funeral at the Cathedral of St. Paul Thursday.
Caroline Yang for MPR News

Updated 3:15 p.m. | Posted 3 a.m.

Mourners on Thursday afternoon paid their last respects to Philando Castile, who was shot and killed by a St. Anthony police officer during a traffic stop last week.

Mourners filled the 3,000-seat Cathedral of St. Paul. Pallbearers carried the casket out at the end of the service as members of the crowd called out, "United for Philando."

Roughly 1,000 people could be seen walking with the procession down Selby Avenue.

Philando Castile
Philando Castile in an undated photo.
Courtesy of Sam Castile

"My nephew was a giver," Castile's uncle, Clarence Castile, said earlier this week. "And he fed children all the time. Part of his lifestyle was feeding people. And so our repass meal is going to be about the same thing."

Castile, 32, was shot and killed by a St. Anthony police officer during a Falcon Heights traffic stop. Much of the dramatic, immediate aftermath was captured on a Facebook Live video by his girlfriend, Diamond Reynolds, who was in the passenger seat beside him.

Mourners walk down Concordia Avenue
Mourners hold hands as they walk alongside Philando Castile's funeral procession down Concordia Avenue in St. Paul Thursday prior to the service at the Cathedral of St. Paul.
Evan Frost | MPR News

The shooting and video sparked days of protests around the Twin Cities. The Minnesota Bureau of Criminal Apprehension is investigating and officials have also asked the United States Justice Department to investigate. 

The day began with a procession to the cathedral from the Brooks Funeral Home on nearby Concordia Avenue. 

Castile family members planned to host a 4 p.m. meal on the fields adjacent to J.J. Hill Montessori School on Selby Avenue in St. Paul, where Castile worked as a cafeteria manager.

A concert to raise money for the Castillo family is planned Sunday at the Cedar Cultural Center in Minneapolis.

Valerie Castile said her son would have turned 33 on Saturday.

Casket spray carried into cathedral
Philando Castile's casket is carried into the Cathedral of St. Paul Thursday.
Evan Frost | MPR News

After the service, Castile family lawyer Glenda Hatchett thanked mourners.

"We are all brothers and sisters. We believe that this is a matter, an issue, for all of humanity," she said of Castile's killing.

Castile's family, she added, will need "support and encouragement not just today, not just tomorrow, not just Saturday for his birthday but for the weeks and the months and the years to come."