ST. PAUL, Minn. (KMSP) - The funeral for Philando Castile is being held Thursday afternoon at the Cathedral of Saint Paul. Valerie Castile requested that her son's service be held at the cathedral as an opportunity for the community to come together and pray for peace and reconciliation in the wake of his death.
The funeral procession, with Castile's casket in a horse-drawn carriage, arrived at the cathedral shortly before 10 a.m. The funeral service was underway at noon, and is expected to last no longer than two hours. Castile's body will be buried during a private ceremony.
"The Catholic Church believes that burying the dead is a Corporal Work of Mercy, and of particular importance in this Jubilee Year of Mercy, as declared by Pope Francis," the Archdiocese of Saint Paul and Minneapolis said in a statement. Cathedral Rector, Rev. John Ubel, will participate by leading the liturgical prayers and will be joined by Rev. Steve Daniels, Sr., pastor of nearby Shiloh Missionary Baptist Church, who will deliver a eulogy. A visiting choir will assist in the liturgy. The texts for the liturgy will have a particular focus on the preservation of peace, justice, and reconciliation among all people, and will incorporate elements from the Church's Funeral Liturgy outside of Mass, because Philando Castile was from a non-Catholic Christian tradition. "
Minnesota Gov. Mark Dayton is among those attending the funeral. The morning after Castile's shooting, the governor called for a Justice Department investigation and said "justice will be served in Minnesota."
Philando Castile was shot and killed by a St. Anthony police officer during a traffic stop in Falcon Heights, Minn. last week. The aftermath of the shooting was streamed live on Facebook by Castile's girlfriend, Diamond Reynolds, who says he was reaching for his ID when he was shot by Officer Jeronimo Yanez.
Timeline of Philando Castile shooting
JULY 7, 10 AM - Governor: 'Justice will be served in Minnesota'
JULY 7, 9:50 PM - Police officers identified in fatal shooting of Philando Castile
JULY 8, 10:30 AM - Prosecutor considering grand jury in Philando Castile shooting
JULY 9, 8 PM - Protest shuts down Interstate 94 in St. Paul
Castile worked as a cafeteria supervisor at J.J. Hill Montessori School in St. Paul for the past 10 years.
"Kids loved him," a coworker said in a statement through St. Paul Public Schools. "He was smart, over-qualified. He was quiet, respectful, and kind."
The lawyer for the police officer says the officer was reacting to Castile's actions and the presence of a gun and that "race did not play a part in the use of deadly force at all." Attorney Tom Kelly also said "the stop of the vehicle for an equipment violation was not the only reason for the stop."
The Minnesota Bureau of Criminal Apprehension is still investigating the shooting.
Tuesday evening, St. Anthony Police Department records were released showing a disproportionate pattern of arrests when compared by race. From January 1, 2016 through July 3, 2016, the data shows a total of 992 arrests during that period of which 45 percent were white and 48 percent were black. St. Anthony Police wrote 788 citations during the same time period where demographic breakdowns were recorded. Of those citations, 74 percent were against whites, 18 percent for blacks.
Wednesday afternoon, the law firm representing the Castile family released a copy of Philando Castile's permit to carry a firearm. The permit was issued by Hennepin County on June 4, 2015. It's unclear if this permit will have an impact on the investigation into his death.