Philando Castile’s Family Brings In TV Judge

     MINNEAPOLIS (CN) — Television judge Glenda Hatchett will represent the family of Philando Castile, a black man whose killing last week by a Minnesota police officer streamed live on Facebook.
     Castile, 32, of St. Paul, was shot at twilight on July 6 during a traffic stop in the St. Paul suburb of Falcon Heights.
     His girlfriend, Diamond Reynolds, streamed the encounter as Castile lay dying beside her in the car. She said Castile was carrying a gun because he is licensed to carry, and conveyed that to the St. Anthony officer when asked for identification.
     The officer, subsequently identified as Jeronimo Yanez, allegedly fired as Castile reached into his pockets for his driver’s license. The pair had allegedly been pulled over for a broken taillight, and Castile’s child was in the backseat of the car.
     Hatchett, a onetime chief judge of the Juvenile Court of Fulton County in Atlanta, Georgia, hosts the nationally syndicated TV show, “Judge Hatchet.”
     The attorney is set to hold a press conference at 10 a.m. Tuesday with Castile’s mother, Valerie, at the Minnesota State Capitol.
     They are reportedly expected to lay out the family’s plan for justice, as well as Castile’s funeral plans.
     Gov. Mark Dayton told 200 mourners gathered outside his mansion Thursday that he did not think the shooting would have happened if Castile had been white.
     have shot and killed a driver who apparently was pulled over for a broken taillight if the driver had been white instead of black.
     In an interview with the Associated Press on Saturday, an attorney for officer Yanez said his client was reacting to Castile’s gun, not his race.
     Yanez reacted to “the presence of that gun and the display of that gun” when he opened fire, Minneapolis attorney Thomas Kelly told the AP in an interview.
     Kelly said the broken tail light wasn’t the only reason for the traffic stop, but he would not provide further details.
     Though identified in Reynolds’ video as Chinese, Kelly said Yanez is Latino.
     The officer is “overcome with sadness” over the shooting, his attorney said.
     In Reynolds’ video, the voice of a distraught officer can be heard swearing repeatedly.
     I told him not to reach for it!” he says.
     The suburban community of Falcon Heights is home to the University of Minnesota-St. Paul campus and has roughly 5,000 residents. It is served primarily by the St. Anthony Police Department.
     Yanez and Officer Joseph Kauser, who also responded to the incident, were put on administrative leave after the shooting.
     A cafeteria supervisor at a Montessori school, Castile had no felony record. Authorities have not said he was a suspect in any crime.
     But attorney Kelly told the Star Tribune on Sunday that officer Yanez thought Castile looked like a suspect from an armed robbery nearby reported a few days earlier.
     Court records show that Castile had been pulled over in Minnesota at least 52 times since 2002. More than half of the 86 violations for minor offenses, such as not wearing a seat belt and expired registration, were dismissed.
     Protests in Minneapolis and St. Paul continued over the weekend in response to Castile’s death.
     According to KARE11, St. Paul Police reported 27 police officers from multiple agencies injured during the protest that shutdown Interstate 94 Saturday night. Officers arrested 50 people for third-degree riot on Interstate-94, and another 52 during the incident at Grand Avenue and Dale Street, Kare11 reported .
     A St. Paul police officer sustained serious injuries in the Saturday protest, where it was reported that protesters were throwing rocks, bottles, fireworks and rebar. On Sunday, The St. Paul Police tweeted a message “We were just informed that the officer who had a concrete block dropped on his head during I-94 riot has broken vertebrae.”
     Castile’s death hit Americans particularly hard for its proximity to the death of another black man at the hands of police earlier that week, which was also caught on video.
     The footage shows a white Baton Rouge police officer shooting 37-year-old Alton Sterling to death while the man was pinned to the ground.
     At a protest over the spate of deaths in Dallas on Thursday night, a sniper gunned down five police officers. The suspect was killed at the scene by a bomb robot.

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