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Philando Castile’s Family Asks DOJ To Investigate His Death

Philando Castile

Philando Castile

By Taryn Finley

The family of Philando Castile is asking the U.S. Department of Justice to conduct an independent investigation into his death, according to a letter obtained by The Associated Press.

In the letter, Glenda Hatchett, the family’s lawyer, wrote that Castile was racially profiled and criminal charges should be filed. She told U.S. Attorney General Loretta Lynch that “we do not believe that local law enforcement authorities will provide a fair and impartial review.”

Castile, an elementary school cafeteria worker, was gunned down by St. Anthony police officer Jeronimo Yanez in his car in St. Paul, Minnesota after being pulled over for a broken taillight.

Castile informed Yanez that he had a gun in his car, which he had a permit to carry. Castile announced that he was reaching for his license when Yanez fired his gun three to five times, according to Castile’s girlfriend Lavish Reynolds. Reynolds recorded the aftermath in a gruesome Facebook Live stream.

Hatchett said that Castile, who had previously been cited by police at least 31 times while driving, was profiled and that evidence confirms his car’s tail lights were in tact.

“Officer Yanez’s excessive use of force and fatal shooting of Mr. Castile was unjustified and warrants criminal prosecution,” Hatchett wrote.

The investigation is currently under Minnesota’s Bureau of Criminal Apprehension. A federal investigation would examine whether Yanez violated Castile’s civil rights was intentionally or not.

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