Castile Family Calls for Federal Investigation
The family of a Black man fatally shot by suburban Minneapolis police is calling for a federal investigation into his death, New York Daily News reports. An attorney for Philando Castile’s family asked the Justice Department to launch an independent investigation in the 32-year-old’s death that was streamed via Facebook Live.
In the letter dated Aug. 2, Attorney Glenda Hatchett tells U.S. Attorney General Loretta Lynch that “we do not believe that local law enforcement authorities will provide a fair and impartial review.”
The family also believes criminal charges should be filed and that Castile was racially profiled.
A spokesman for the Justice Department was working Thursday to confirm that the agency received the letter, according to the Daily News. A spokeswoman for Minnesota U.S. Attorney Andy Luger confirmed Thursday that his office had received the letter, but did not provide additional comments.
Castile, who worked at an elementary school cafeteria, was shot during a traffic stop by St. Anthony Police Officer Jeronimo Yanez. Castile informed the officer he had a gun and permit to carry it.
Castile’s girlfriend said she and Castile were told they were pulled over for a broken tail light. She said Castile was reaching for his wallet when he was shot.
In the video, Castile can be seen slumped over next to her in the driver’s seat, with his shirt soaked with blood. An attorney representing Yanez said he was reacting to the presence of a gun, and that he thought Castile looked like “a possible match” for a suspect in a recent armed robbery nearby.
“Officer Yanez’s excessive use of force and fatal shooting of Mr. Castile was unjustified and warrants criminal prosecution,” Hatchett wrote.
A spokeswoman for the agency declined to confirm the detail about the tail light, saying she couldn’t discuss specifics while the investigation is ongoing.
Shortly after the July 6 shooting, the Justice Department said it was monitoring the investigation and would provide assistance as needed. Castile’s death is currently being investigated by the state’s Bureau of Criminal Apprehension.
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