MINNEAPOLIS (WCCO) – Gov. Mark Dayton is urging Minnesotans to remain calm while the Bureau of Criminal Apprehension investigates the fatal shooting of a man by police in Falcon Heights.
Philando Castile, 32, was shot and killed by a St. Anthony police officer during a traffic stop Wednesday.
In a press conference Friday afternoon, Dayton asked Minnesotans for “calm and understanding in this difficult time.”
“We’ll get through this terrible time here in Minnesota,” he said.
Dayton did not take back those comments.
“I stand by what I said yesterday,” said Dayton. “I don’t have any new information … I’m judging based on the evidence I have.”
He also said he did not think those comments would influence the BCA’s investigation.
The governor expressed condolences for the officers shot in Dallas Thursday evening and asked Minnesotans to remain calm during the BCA’s investigation.
“It underscored the need for us to not react violently, to react nonviolently to this very, very difficult situation,” Dayton said.
“I intend to follow the law,” Dayton said, “and that’s what I ask our citizens to do.”
In the coming days, Dayton is set to meet with law enforcement and civil rights leaders to create a plan moving forward.
“I want to get the input, the recommendations from people who are on the front lines,” Dayton said. “This is really going to have to happen at the community level.”
Dayton also asked for patience while the investigation takes place. He said he did not know the timeline for the investigation’s completion.
“I’d like to see it happen as quickly as possible,” he said. “I know that they [the BCA] know that this is an absolute top priority.”
Protesters marched to Dayton’s mansion following Castile’s death. While the protest was peaceful for the most part, one group that splintered off from those at the governor’s mansion did damage a police car and the window of a business.
“I’m grateful to everyone involved in peaceful protest,” Dayton said, adding “I view [the splintered group] as a separate matter and not representative of the group as a whole.”
Dayton closed the press conference by asking the question that everyone wants answered.
“Why did this happen?” said Dayton. “I want to see justice served.”