MINNEAPOLIS (WCCO) — Attention from around the world is focused on the investigation into the shooting death of Philando Castile.
It was Wednesday night when Castile, 32, was killed after being pulled over by police in Falcon Heights. Castile’s girlfriend, Diamond Reynolds, made a live broadcast on Facebook after he was shot. In the video, Reynolds calmly describes the confusion over Castile reaching for his license after telling the officer he had a permit to carry a gun.
Castile would have celebrated his 33rd birthday next week. He worked for St. Paul Public Schools as a supervisor in the cafeteria at J.J. Hill Montessori School.
Meanwhile, the Minnesota Bureau of Criminal Apprehension (BCA) identified the officers involved in the deadly shooting. They say St. Anthony Police officer Jeronimo Yanez fired the shots.
The case is now in the hands of the BCA. When the investigation is completed, the BCA will submit their findings to Ramsey County Attorney John Choi, who will determine if and how charges should be filed.
“We want this investigation to be prompt, but at the same time it needs to be thorough and those things can compete against one another, but I think both can be achieved,” he said.
The Facebook video that more than 5 million people have watched — the video that capture the moments after shooting — that will be part of the evidence.
The case hinges the law surrounding the use of deadly force, which is only justified if the officer or others are at risk of great bodily harm or death. Choi said prosecuting the case in the state of Minnesota might be a tricky.
“The law in the state of Minnesota gives a lot of protection to police officers,” he said.
As for a grand jury, Choi says he’s not sure if they’ll use one.
“I think that this is a very extraordinary case,” he said. “This doesn’t happen on a regular basis, and I just need that time to, kind of, think that through.”
Choi said if charges are filed, his office will prosecute the case to the fullest extent of the law.