TO: RAMSEY COUNTY ATTORNEY JOHN CHOI
We call on County Attorney Choi to turn over the investigation of the police killing of Philando Castile so that an independent special prosecutor, unbiased and separate from any law enforcement agency, can handle the case.
Why is this important?
The horrifying killing of Philando Castile, whose painful death was watched by millions around the world, must receive the highest level of attention possible to ensure the possibility of justice. We support the Castile family’s call for an independent special prosecutor to handle this case from start to finish.
County attorneys work closely with local police departments, who are usually their primary source of information. They are often reluctant to challenge the police narrative or question their side of the story.
Police officers have killed 148 Minnesotans since 2000. None have faced criminal charges of any kind. Time and time again in fatal police shootings, including in the case of Jamar Clark, we have seen county attorneys act as defense attorney for the police. This time must be different.
By Minnesota state law, Governor Mark Dayton and Attorney General Lori Swanson can appoint a special prosecutor independent of any state prosecuting agencies. We need a truly unbiased prosecutor, who will not take police testimony as gospel truth, to handle this case if we are to have any hope of justice. For full transparency and accountability, this prosecutor must handle the case themselves without the use of a grand jury.
An independent special prosecutor, unbiased and separate from any law enforcement agency, must handle the case of the police killing of Philando Castile.