ST. PAUL, Minn. (July 7, 2016) — Statements of public officials regarding Philando Castile shooting death.
Minnesota Governor Dayton and Lt. Governor Smith
Governor Mark Dayton and Lt. Governor Tina Smith released the following statements today regarding the death of Philando Castile.
The following is a statement from Governor Mark Dayton:
“I extend my deepest condolences to the family, friends, and community of Philando Castile. Our state today grieves with them.
“This morning, I spoke by phone with White House Chief of Staff Denis McDonough to request that the U.S. Department of Justice begin an immediate independent federal investigation into this matter.
“Overnight, the Bureau of Criminal Apprehension began an independent investigation at the state level. They are currently collecting all necessary evidence, and interviewing witnesses, to determine what happened, and to assure that justice in this case is served. I will do everything in my power to help protect the integrity of that investigation, to ensure a proper and just outcome for all involved.”
The following is a statement from Lt. Governor Tina Smith:
“I grieve for Philando Castile, his family, friends, and community, and especially the child, who was in the car with him. I pray for everyone touched by this tragedy, including our law enforcement officers.
“The Governor has wisely requested the U.S. Department of Justice conduct an independent investigation, and I am grateful the Falcon Heights Police Department immediately asked the Bureau of Criminal Apprehension to lead their independent investigation. As we seek justice, we must be ruled by facts and the law. We need a swift, impartial investigation, and peace.”
Congresswoman Betty McCollum (MN-4)
WASHINGTON — Congresswoman Betty McCollum (DFL-Minn.), who represents Falcon Heights and Minnesota’s Fourth District in the United States House of Representatives, released the following statement after the shooting death of Philando Castile:
“My deepest sympathies are with Mr. Castile’s family, loved ones, and friends. I have watched the video of this incident circulating online. It is profoundly disturbing.
The circumstances surrounding this tragic event call for an immediate investigation led by the United States Department of Justice. A federal investigation will provide all Minnesotans with a clear understanding of the facts surrounding this incident and ensure accountability appropriate to those facts.
At this time of tragedy, we have already seen an outpouring of citizens protesting this incident. Protesters and police will need to ensure that calm prevails in our community and that the First Amendment rights of all citizens are respected.”
Congressman Keith Ellison (MN-5)
WASHINGTON – Rep. Keith Ellison released the following statement on the death of Philando Castile:
“#TrayvonMartin. #MikeBrown. #TamirRice. #KyamLivingston. #WalterJones. #SandraBland. #EricGarner. #RekiaBoyd. #LaquanMcDonald. #TanishaAnderson. #JamarClark. #AltonSterling. #PhilandoCastile. And the list goes on… and on…
“We live a world where certain Americans live in fear that their name will become a hashtag. It is not enough to say “Black Lives Matter”. It’s time to make the system mean it. We need immediate and meaningful accountability and justice. Officers who use excessive force cannot assume immunity as they routinely do today. We need one standard of justice for all. I join my colleague Representative Betty McCollum in calling for an immediate investigation by the Department of Justice.
“The video showing the immediate aftermath of the shooting is horrific. Lavish “Diamond” Reynolds acted heroically and with remarkable presence of mind when she live-streamed the incident and calmly narrated the events as they unfolded. She did this as Philando lay dying beside her and with her four-year old daughter in the vehicle.
“Although the investigation is just beginning, I ask the Bureau of Criminal Apprehension to release any and all videos related to Philando Castile’s shooting as soon as possible. The public deserves transparency in the pursuit of truth and justice. I also call on all prosecutorial authorities to reject the use of the grand jury and to make themselves personally and directly accountable for charging decisions. In the case of officer-involved shootings, it is not a trusted tool and will undermine confidence in any decision.
“Sadly, we in the Twin Cities have been here before – most recently with Jamar Clark. Nothing we do now will bring Philando Castile back. But justice must prevail. Not just because our community will demand it, but because Philando deserves it.”
Hayden and Champion respond to the killing of Philando Castile
St. Paul, Minn.— St. Paul–Senate Equity Subcommittee Co-Chairs Sen. Bobby Joe Champion (DFL-Minneapolis) and Deputy Senate Majority Leader Jeff Hayden (DFL-Minneapolis) have released a joint statement following the police shooting and death of 32 year-old Philando Castile during a traffic stop in Falcon Heights. Castile was shot in his vehicle by a St. Anthony police officer in front of his girlfriend and young child Wednesday night. Sen. Hayden and Sen. Champion have been in communication with the administration, community members and leaders.
“We didn’t know Philando Castile, but we know the story of his death all too well, and now the world knows his name and how he was slain. In the last 24 hours we have seen video of shooting deaths of two black men — Alton Sterling in Louisiana and Philando Castile in Minnesota. A lack of faith in our justice system is not only understandable, it’s warranted. The justice system failed Philando last night, but there is a chance now for the federal Department of Justice to do the right thing in the wake of this tragedy. It is critical that the DOJ lead the investigation and show the Black community that justice, even following a horrific event like Philando’s death, can be served.
The treatment of a Black man compared to a white man who identifies themselves as a lawful carrier of a concealed weapon is stark: Philando is dead, while recently stopped Gun Owners Civil Rights Alliance president Andrew Rothman was sent on his way, alive.
Police-involved deaths like Philando’s have become the soundtrack of our lives. We thank community members and supporters who have interrupted their lives in the middle of this crisis to show up and decry this kind of deplorable, unacceptable targeting of young black men. To our community: continue the fight, say his name, and know that we are with you.
As elected leaders we take seriously the burden eliminating profiling, unfair treatment, and implicit bias in our justice system. We will continue to work closely with the community to heal and press forward against the barriers Black Minnesotans face.”