MINNEAPOLIS (WCCO) – The investigation into the death of Philando Castile is now in the hands of the Ramsey County attorney.
The Bureau of Criminal Apprehension spent the last three months investigating the shooting of Castile by St. Anthony Police officer Jeronimo Yanez.
However, the investigation is far from over. It could take weeks — possibly months — before Ramsey County Attorney John Choi makes a decision.
Choi will have a tough job of sifting through the evidence to decide if any charges against the officer are warranted.
Video of the aftermath of the Castile shooting went viral after it was broadcast live to Facebook on July 6.
Now, three months later, what happens next depends on the actions of Choi.
Criminal attorney Joe Tamburino, who is not affiliated with this case, says the county attorney has a tough road ahead of him.
“Mr. Choi’s office is going to have to decide whether the case goes to a grand jury or does he decided whether or not to charge by himself…he could do either,” Tamburino said.
Tamburino added that no matter what choice the county attorney makes, people are going to disagree with him.
“It’s a very hard position to be in,” he said.
Since the shooting, concerned groups of people have been calling for the release of any video that may have captured exactly what happened that night.
“Mr. Choi’s office has started that they might need further investigation with the BCA, so, in that kind of a situation, you wouldn’t release the video,” Tamburino said.
Choi is looking outside his office for help.
In a statement released Wednesday, Choi said that his office is “in the process of engaging national use-of-force consultants to assist in our prosecution review and evaluation of the BCA investigation.”
While some might say that this investigation is taking too long, Tamburino says Choi and the BCA are doing the right thing in conducting thorough investigations.
Choi also has the help of special prosecutor Don Lewis, who will act as an extra set of eyes and ears for him in the case.
The county attorney did not give an estimated time of when his decision would be made, but he did make reference to the Jamar Clark shooting in Minneapolis, where Hennepin County Attorney Mike Freeman took seven weeks before making his decision.