SAINT PAUL, Minn. (AP/WCCO) — A Minnesota prosecutor said his office has not met with the family of Philandro Castile, who was shot and killed by an officer in suburban St. Paul this week.
Ramsey County Prosecutor John Choi said at a Friday news conference that will happen when his office receives the case.
Choi called Castile’s death tragic and sad, and expressed his condolences to the family. He then commended community members who have channeled their feelings into protests.
He also said that his staff has been working closely with the Minnesota Bureau of Criminal Apprehension on the investigation, which he says is a top priority.
After the BCA finishes its investigation, all evidence will be turned over to the Ramsey County Attorney’s Office.
He has asked for a “prompt and thorough investigation” in Wednesday’s shooting of Castile, and they’ll present the case to the prosecutor’s office. Choi said he thinks there are benefits to using grand juries but will decide later. Whatever is decided, he said it will be based on facts and a truthful pursuit of justice.
Choi also spoke about the video Castile’s girlfriend live streamed after the shooting. He said that video will be part of the evidence.
He said the Grand Jury or his office will look at everything in order to have the total picture of what happened that night.
Protesters on Thursday urged Choi not to use a grand jury, arguing it’s secretive and lets police officers off the hook.
Choi also asked for peace throughout the U.S. and in protests.
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Castile was shot Wednesday during a traffic stop. His girlfriend broadcast the minutes after the shooting on Facebook. The school cafeteria supervisor had been shot “for no apparent reason” while reaching for his wallet after telling the officer he had a gun and a permit to carry it, she says in the video.
State investigators named the two officers involved in the Minnesota shooting as Jeronimo Yanez and Joseph Kauser. Both had been with the St. Anthony Police Department for four years and were put on administrative leave.
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