MINNEAPOLIS – The father of Philando Castile, a motorist fatally shot by a suburban Minneapolis police officer last summer, wants a portion of the $3 million settlement reached in his son's death.
Phelix Frazier Sr. is serving a life term in federal prison on drug trafficking charges. The Star Tribune reported that Frazier has asked a judge to give him $500,000, disputing claims that he was absent from his son's life.
Castile's mother, Valerie Castile, has petitioned the court for $2 million, with the remaining amount going to attorneys. A Hennepin County judge was expected to review the petition during a Wednesday hearing and will approve how the funds are distributed.
Castile, a 32-year-old elementary school cafeteria worker, was shot in July 2016 during a traffic stop seconds after he informed St. Anthony police Officer Jeronimo Yanez that he was carrying a gun. Authorities later discovered Castile had a permit for the firearm. The case got widespread attention after Castile's girlfriend, who was in the car with her then-4-year-old daughter, began livestreaming the shooting's aftermath on Facebook.
Yanez was acquitted of manslaughter in June after testifying that he feared for his life and that Castile ignored commands not to reach for the gun. Yanez has since left the police force, and the city of St. Anthony agreed to the monetary settlement with Valerie Castile.
Valerie Castile's attorney, Robert Bennett, wrote in a petition that Frazier, Castile's five half-siblings and other relatives made no claims on the money.
But in a July 25 letter, Frazier said he made no claim because he assumed Valerie Castile would share the money.
"It was not just Valerie's loss," he wrote. "On some level I believe I will miss Philando (more) than most because of what we 'were not' able to do together."
Bennett wrote in an affidavit that Frazier ran a heroin trafficking ring.
"Mr. Frazier is surely upset about what happened to Philando," Bennett wrote. "But his meager relationship with Philando, hopes of running a successful modular home company, and desire to hire attorneys to help in additional appeals of his sentence do not entitle him to any portion of this judgment — let alone $500,000 — especially in light of what he was convicted of."
Information from: Star Tribune, http://www.startribune.com