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The DA in the Philando Castile case brings in a "black" special prosecutor to possibly cosign the BS

stringer bell
stringer bell Members Posts: 26,212 ✭✭✭✭✭
http://www.startribune.com/ramsey-county-attorney-choi-to-make-announcement-about-philando-castile-shooting/388654691/
Ramsey County Attorney Choi asks special prosecutor Don Lewis to join his office in Castile inquiry

Ramsey County Attorney John Choi has asked a veteran attorney with roots in St. Paul’s Rondo community to join his office as a special prosecutor in the inquiry into the death of Philando Castile.

The move is a compromise between Choi’s desire to remain involved in reviewing evidence in the case, and demands by Castile’s family attorney, the American Civil Liberties Union (ACLU) and several community members that he completely turn over the case to a special prosecutor.

Choi said at a Friday morning news conference that after weeks of deliberation, he decided to add Don Lewis, who has experience in civil desegregation, criminal defense and other practices of law, to his team. Lewis will be “integral” to the investigation, said Choi, who has not yet decided whether he will present the case to a grand jury or decide himself whether the officer who killed Castile should be criminally charged.

Choi said that he cannot completely defer the case to a special prosecutor. More than 6,000 people have signed an online petition urging him to do so.

“I understand that there is distrust of the system and some may question the ability of a prosecutor to hold police accountable when we rely on them to present cases to our office,” Choi said. “However, if I handed this case off to any other person outside of the duties and authority of my office I would not only be abdicating my responsibility but potentially creating additional mistrust.”

However, he said incorporating Lewis into his team brings an independent special prosecutor without law enforcement interests, and will provide “transparency and confidence for the public.”

“Don has not merely been retained as a consultant, I am not simply asking for his advice or approval of the decisions of others have made,” Choi said. “Don will be an integral member of our team.”

Lewis, who is black, is a shareholder at Minneapolis-based law firm Nilan Johnson Lewis with extensive criminal and civil experience. In 2014, he was hired by the city of Minneapolis to investigate potential wrongdoing in the arrest last summer of community activist Al Flowers. In his report, Lewis wrote that the officers were justified in arresting Flowers.

“The officers could have exercised their discretion to de-escalate the confrontation,” Lewis said in his report. But he concluded the officers didn’t abuse their discretion by acting quickly to accomplish the purpose of their call, “especially given the circumstances of a difficult nighttime encounter in a confined and potentially dangerous space.”

Asked how Lewis’ role in the Flowers case would impact the public’s trust in his involvement in the Castile case, Choi said that Lewis has “significant experience being involved with investigative processes and prosecutorial decisions.”

“At the end of the day, I think when people are thinking about [the Castile] case, a lot of people in the public have already jumped to a conclusion,” Choi said. “And I know that there’s a lot of angst about ultimately that [investigation’s] outcome. But in the system of justice, the process is equally important — about how you arrive at these decisions to ensure that the fact-finding that is conducted is done in a fair and impartial way and is done thoroughly.”

Lewis’s perspective will “enhance” the county attorney’s review of the evidence, Choi said.

Lewis said the facts of the Flowers case didn’t reach the severity of the Castile case. He provided assurance that although he has represented the government, he has also represented clients who were adversarial to the government and police.

“Frankly,” Lewis said, “the values and assets I bring to this exercise is having experienced and provided legal services in a wide variety of contexts for a wide variety of clients.

“I work very hard … to assess each and every case on the unique facts presented by that case.”


No timeline certain

The Minnesota Bureau of Criminal Apprehension (BCA) is investigating the July 6 shooting of Castile, and it is uncertain when it will be completed.

Choi said that the investigation into the November 2015 shooting of Jamar Clark — another high-profile police shooting of a black man, took about 4 1/2 months to complete, with the BCA investigation spanning 13 weeks and the County Attorney’s office probe lasting seven weeks.

When the BCA investigation is completed, it will be forwarded to Choi’s office for review for possible criminal charges against the St. Anthony police officer, Jeronimo Yanez, who killed Castile, 32, during a traffic stop in Falcon Heights. Castile’s girlfriend, Diamond Reynolds, and her 4-year-old daughter were in the car at the time. Reynolds broadcast the shooting’s aftermath live on Facebook via cellphone.

Soon after Castile was shot, Choi held a news conference in which he called for a “prompt and thorough” investigation into the incident.

“I believe there are benefits to doing so,” Choi said at the earlier news conference of the grand jury process. “However, I will decide how best to proceed at a later time.”

Last March, Hennepin County Attorney Mike Freeman eliminated the long-standing use of a grand jury in officer-involved shootings. Activists had pushed him to forgo the grand jury after Jamar Clark was fatally shot by Minneapolis Police last November.

Grand jury proceedings are private, and the activists wanted more transparency. Freeman decided not to charge the two officers in that case, upsetting activists.

Authorities’ handling of such cases have changed dramatically in recent years as activists across the nation protest police use of force against people of color, particularly black men.


Choi, Freeman and St. Paul police took unprecedented steps earlier this year to publicly release photographic, video and audio evidence collected in officer-involved shootings in attempts to engender public trust. The data release came after a Ramsey County grand jury declined to press charges in the fatal shooting of Philip Quinn, and after Freeman’s decision in the Clark case.

It’s unclear whether Choi’s unusual decision to add Lewis will impact future cases.

“We feel the addition of a special prosecutor to assist our office in this important decision is the not only the appropriate thing to do in this case, it is the right thing to do,” Choi said. “I view this as a case-by-case decision, thus do not feel it sets any precedent going forward other than to say that we should always be open to new ideas as the interests of justice may require.”

http://www.kare11.com/news/ramsey-co-attorney-hires-special-prosecutor-for-castile-case/284180426
Lewis resigned as the dean of Hamline's School of Law in 2008 and returned to practicing full-time with Nilan Johnson Lewis PA, a firm he co-founded in 1996.

Lewis was hired by Minneapolis Mayor Betsy Hodges in 2014 to investigate the arrest of local activist Al Flowers. In that case, Lewis looked into whether officers violated the department's policy regarding the use of force during the arrest. Flowers claimed officers grabbed him by the throat and threw him to the ground, before he was punched and kicked repeatedly. That investigation found no criminal wrongdoing by the officers.
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Comments

  • Trillfate
    Trillfate "i used to like the Ride more now i like the Race...i used like the Prize more now i like the Chase" Members Posts: 24,008 ✭✭✭✭✭
    There's no way this cop walks. Whether he thought bruh was a robbery suspect or it was a routine traffic stop, he broke protocol either way. Plus he used racially profiling... i dont see a way around this one
  • [Deleted User]
    [Deleted User] Posts: 0 Regulator
    edited July 2016
    The user and all related content has been deleted.
  • Trillfate
    Trillfate "i used to like the Ride more now i like the Race...i used like the Prize more now i like the Chase" Members Posts: 24,008 ✭✭✭✭✭
    @D0wn


    “I understand that there is distrust of the system and some may question the ability of a prosecutor to hold police accountable when we rely on them to present cases to our office,” Choi said. “However, if I handed this case off to any other person outside of the duties and authority of my office I would not only be abdicating my responsibility but potentially creating additional mistrust.”


    This acknowledgement aint for nothing... that's all im saying
  • 1CK1S
    1CK1S Members Posts: 27,471 ✭✭✭✭✭
    Trillfate wrote: »
    There's no way this cop walks. Whether he thought bruh was a robbery suspect or it was a routine traffic stop, he broke protocol either way. Plus he used racially profiling... i dont see a way around this one

    Does Rodney King ring a bell? Each and every one of those cops broke protocol once they took him out of his car.
  • leftcoastkev
    leftcoastkev Nothing left to prove Bay Area, CAMembers Posts: 6,232 ✭✭✭✭✭
    They got 3 point shooters coming off the bench to justify this impossibly justify able bs.
  • mrrealone
    mrrealone Members Posts: 3,793 ✭✭✭✭✭
    Trillfate wrote: »
    There's no way this cop walks. Whether he thought bruh was a robbery suspect or it was a routine traffic stop, he broke protocol either way. Plus he used racially profiling... i dont see a way around this one



    They'll find a way....
  • stringer bell
    stringer bell Members Posts: 26,212 ✭✭✭✭✭
    http://kstp.com/news/st-anthony-protest-philando-castile/4216469/
    Protest Planned Saturday Evening in St. Anthony Village

    Another protest is scheduled Saturday regarding the death of Philando Castile, who was shot by a St. Anthony police officer earlier this month.

    The protest is planned for about 6 p.m. Saturday at two city-owned liquor stores in St. Anthony Village. Protesters say they plan to “shut down” the stores because the profits help fund city operations, including the police department.


    For more than three weeks, demonstrators have been voicing their frustration with law enforcement. On Tuesday, St. Paul police stepped in and asked protesters to leave the area in front of the Governor’s Residence on Summit Avenue because it was an “unlawful assembly.”

    Tents, garbage cans, tables, lawn chairs and pit fires had to be removed or dumped. The mood between officers and protesters remained calm at first, but that changed quickly as some demonstrators refused to leave.

    A total of 69 protesters were arrested Tuesday and Wednesday.

    Castile was shot and killed Wednesday, July 6, in Falcon Heights. His girlfriend, Diamond Reynolds, and her young daughter were in the vehicle at the time, and Reynolds streamed the aftermath of the shooting live on Facebook.

    In the video, Reynolds says Castile told the officer he had a permit to carry and was reaching for his wallet when the officer fired.

    The video was seen millions of times and sparked days of protests in Minnesota and other states.

    The officer who shot Castile was identified as Jeronimo Yanez. His attorney says Yanez was reacting to the presence of a gun when he fired.

  • The Lonious Monk
    The Lonious Monk Man with No Fucks Given Members Posts: 26,258 ✭✭✭✭✭
    1CK1S wrote: »
    Trillfate wrote: »
    There's no way this cop walks. Whether he thought bruh was a robbery suspect or it was a routine traffic stop, he broke protocol either way. Plus he used racially profiling... i dont see a way around this one

    Does Rodney King ring a bell? Each and every one of those cops broke protocol once they took him out of his car.

    It's kinda crazy. The Rodney King 🤬 wasn't even as bad as the 🤬 that we're seing nowadays, yet people rioted over the cops getting off. And 🤬 still hasn't changed. It just shows that police brutality is symptom. You can't really cure it without curing what's behind it.
  • blackamerica
    blackamerica Members Posts: 2,897 ✭✭✭✭✭
    edited July 2016
    1CK1S wrote: »
    Trillfate wrote: »
    There's no way this cop walks. Whether he thought bruh was a robbery suspect or it was a routine traffic stop, he broke protocol either way. Plus he used racially profiling... i dont see a way around this one

    Does Rodney King ring a bell? Each and every one of those cops broke protocol once they took him out of his car.

    It's kinda crazy. The Rodney King 🤬 wasn't even as bad as the 🤬 that we're seing nowadays, yet people rioted over the cops getting off. And 🤬 still hasn't changed. It just shows that police brutality is symptom. You can't really cure it without curing what's behind it.
    It was BAD fam. I caught a glimpse of it watching that OJ 🤬 , and seeing a black man on his knees surrounded by 10-12 white cops taking turns whooping his azz had me feeling a type of way. Let alone they got off
  • xxCivicxx
    xxCivicxx stew Members Posts: 6,927 ✭✭✭✭✭
    Trillfate wrote: »
    There's no way this cop walks. Whether he thought bruh was a robbery suspect or it was a routine traffic stop, he broke protocol either way. Plus he used racially profiling... i dont see a way around this one

    After Tamir Rice, no level of deceit that they stoop to in order to keep a guilty officer out of jail surprises me
  • xxCivicxx
    xxCivicxx stew Members Posts: 6,927 ✭✭✭✭✭
    Trillfate wrote: »
    @D0wn


    “I understand that there is distrust of the system and some may question the ability of a prosecutor to hold police accountable when we rely on them to present cases to our office,” Choi said. “However, if I handed this case off to any other person outside of the duties and authority of my office I would not only be abdicating my responsibility but potentially creating additional mistrust.”


    This acknowledgement aint for nothing... that's all im saying

    Don't fall for the okey doke again lol
  • black caesar
    black caesar Members Posts: 12,036 ✭✭✭✭✭
    Trillfate wrote: »
    There's no way this cop walks. Whether he thought bruh was a robbery suspect or it was a routine traffic stop, he broke protocol either way. Plus he used racially profiling... i dont see a way around this one


    If you believe this, you haven't been paying attention for a while. No cop has been punished thus far. This is white supremacy we're talking about.
  • Trillfate
    Trillfate "i used to like the Ride more now i like the Race...i used like the Prize more now i like the Chase" Members Posts: 24,008 ✭✭✭✭✭
    Yall just destroyed a 🤬 hope
  • scoop1215
    scoop1215 Members Posts: 592 ✭✭✭
    The cop that shot this guy isnt even white he Spanish. Jeronimo Yanez.
  • Maximus Rex
    Maximus Rex Pulchritudo in Conspectu Regis The EmpreyanMembers Posts: 6,354 ✭✭✭✭✭
    As I said before in the injustice that was suffered in the Akai Gurley case, if this pig isn't indicted, found guilty, and sentenced to the maximum penalty under the law, then freedom and liberty loving patriots need to follow the lead of Founding Fathers John Hancock, Samuel Adams, and others. (Including black patriots,)

    Just as these original freedom and liberty patriots voiced their anger and frustration with George III and the tea tax he levied against the colonies by throwing the tea into Boston Habor, a new generation of freedom fighters need to take to the streets and complety oblivate white sections of town and the main business district, while as Ice T so eloquently said in that song so long ago ago, "dusting some cops off."
  • stringer bell
    stringer bell Members Posts: 26,212 ✭✭✭✭✭
    http://www.startribune.com/ramsey-county-attorney-choi-to-make-announcement-about-philando-castile-shooting/388654691/
    Ramsey County Attorney Choi asks special prosecutor Don Lewis to join his office in Castile inquiry

    Ramsey County Attorney John Choi is adding a veteran attorney with St. Paul roots to his office to review evidence in the death of Philando Castile, a move that has been both criticized and praised by activists and attorneys.

    The decision to temporarily add Don Lewis as a special prosecutor is a compromise between Choi’s desire to remain involved in the case and demands by the Castile family’s attorney, the American Civil Liberties Union (ACLU) and others that he completely turn over the case to a special prosecutor.

    Lewis will be “integral” in reviewing the investigation, said Choi, who has not decided whether he will present the case to a grand jury or decide himself whether the police officer who killed Castile on July 6 should be criminally charged.

    Choi said he cannot completely defer the case to a special prosecutor, which the Minneapolis NAACP and more than 6,000 people who have signed an online petition are urging him to do.

    “I understand that there is distrust of the system and some may question the ability of a prosecutor to hold police accountable when we rely on them to present cases to our office,” Choi said. “However, if I handed this case off to any other person outside of the duties and authority of my office I would not only be abdicating my responsibility but potentially creating additional mistrust.”

    However, he said Lewis is an independent special prosecutor without law enforcement interests and will provide “transparency and confidence for the public.”

    The Minneapolis NAACP criticized the gesture for letting Choi “have it both ways.”

    “Because county attorneys in Minnesota work closely with local police to prosecute cases, there is an unavoidable conflict of interest in having them also investigate incidents when police 🤬 the civilians they swore to serve and protect,” said an NAACP statement. “This is a criticism of the system, not of Mr. Choi personally.”

    Mixed reactions

    Lewis, who is black, is a shareholder at the Minneapolis law firm Nilan Johnson Lewis. He has extensive criminal and civil experience.

    “My hope — whatever the outcome — is that my work with John’s office will earn the trust and confidence of the residents of Ramsey County and the state of Minnesota, and especially the trust and confidence of those who today expect the least and fear the worst from our criminal justice system,” Lewis said.

    But Minneapolis NAACP President Nekima Levy-Pounds said Lewis has a “poor” track record of holding authorities accountable.

    She cited his exoneration in 2015 of two white Minneapolis police officers in the arrest of prominent black activist Al Flowers, and his 2014 finding that the city of St. Paul could not have predicted that erosion in Lilydale Regional Park was a threat to visitors’ safety. (An unrelated 2009 study had urged city officials to rectify erosion issues.) Lewis was hired to investigate a 2013 landslide that killed two children at the park.

    “I feel that the Ramsey County attorney made a mistake in appointing attorney Don Lewis as a special prosecutor in this case,” Levy-Pounds said. “He has not inspired trust and confidence in the justice system, and his appointment to the team will not inspire trust and confidence.”

    Glenda Hatchett, who is representing Castile’s mother, was warm to Choi’s arrangement even though she had written Choi, Gov. Mark Dayton and Attorney General Lori Swanson on July 18 calling for an independent investigation.

    “Attorney Lewis has an outstanding background in both the public and private sector,” Hatchett said. “I do think that this is a good middle ground on this matter.”

    Attorney Larry Rogers Jr., who is representing Castile’s girlfriend, Diamond Reynolds, called the arrangement “odd” and said he’s still calling for an independent federal investigation into the shooting.

    “What are we waiting for?” Rogers said. “If it were you or I or any other citizen, charges would have been filed by now.”

    Rogers said that despite the lack of an independent review, he and Reynolds have “faith and confidence that the system will be just.”

    Asked how Lewis’ role in the Flowers case would affect the public’s trust in his involvement in the Castile case, Choi said that Lewis has “significant experience” that will bolster the review process.

    “At the end of the day, I think when people are thinking about [the Castile] case, a lot of people in the public have already jumped to a conclusion,” Choi said. “And I know that there’s a lot of angst about ultimately that [investigation’s] outcome. But in the system of justice, the process is equally important — about how you arrive at these decisions to ensure that the fact-finding that is conducted is done in a fair and impartial way and is done thoroughly.”

    Lewis said the facts of the Flowers case didn’t reach the severity of the Castile case. He said that although he has represented the government, he has also represented clients who were adversarial to the government or police.

    “Frankly,” Lewis said, “the values and assets I bring to this exercise is having experienced and provided legal services in a wide variety of contexts for a wide variety of clients.

    “I work very hard … to assess each and every case on the unique facts presented by that case.”

    Lewis will be paid $295 an hour and any paralegal or staff in his office will be paid $175 an hour for work on the case.

    Levy-Pounds said that in addition to the Flowers and Lilydale cases, she is concerned about Lewis’ oversight of the firing of a black, female law professor from Hamline who had criticized St. Paul police. The firing coincided with the professor’s 2011 conviction on four gross-misdemeanor counts of failing to file a tax return.

    “I think that it’s tricky, in these situations, to find the model that works best,” Levy-Pounds said. “The reality right now is that many of us do not trust in the system. There needs to be some statewide oversight and accountability in these cases.”
  • Knock_Twice
    Knock_Twice Getting it out the mud Members Posts: 4,324 ✭✭✭✭✭
    This is sad, smh
  • stringer bell
    stringer bell Members Posts: 26,212 ✭✭✭✭✭
    http://www.twincities.com/2016/08/11/philando-castiles-family-seeks-federal-probe-of-police-shooting/
    Philando Castile’s family seeks federal probe of police shooting

    The family of Philando Castile, the black motorist fatally shot by a St. Anthony police officer last month, is seeking a federal investigation into his death, according to a letter provided to the Associated Press on Thursday.

    An attorney for Castile’s family asked the U.S. Department of Justice to launch an independent investigation, saying the family believes criminal charges should be filed and that Castile was racially profiled. In the letter dated Aug. 2, attorney Glenda Hatchett tells U.S. Attorney General Loretta Lynch that “we do not believe that local law enforcement authorities will provide a fair and impartial review.”

    A DOJ spokesman was working Thursday to confirm that the agency received the letter. A spokeswoman for Minnesota U.S. Attorney Andy Luger confirmed Thursday that his office had received the letter but declined further comment.


    Castile, a 32-year-old elementary school cafeteria worker in St. Paul, was shot during a traffic stop by St. Anthony police officer Jeronimo Yanez, after Castile informed the officer he had a gun and a permit to carry it. Castile’s girlfriend said she and Castile were told they were pulled over for a broken tail light on Larpenteur Avenue in Falcon Heights, and that Castile was reaching for his wallet when he was shot.

    The gruesome aftermath of the shooting was streamed live on Facebook by Castile’s girlfriend. It shows Castile, his shirt soaked with blood, slumped over next to her in the driver’s seat.

    Yanez’s attorney has said Yanez was reacting to the presence of a gun, and that one of the reasons Castile was pulled over was because Yanez thought he looked like “a possible match” for a suspect in a recent armed robbery nearby. St. Anthony provides police services in Falcon Heights.

    Hatchett wrote that crime scene evidence confirms the car’s tail lights were intact and that the family believes Castile was profiled.

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

    The state’s Bureau of Criminal Apprehension is investigating Castile’s shooting. Agency spokeswoman Jill Oliveira declined to confirm the detail about the tail lights, saying she couldn’t talk about specifics while the investigation is ongoing.
    Ramsey County Attorney John Choi has said he will make a charging decision, with the help of an outside attorney, once the investigation is complete.

    Shortly after the July 6 shooting, the Department of Justice said it was monitoring the investigation and would provide assistance as needed. Jeff Van Nest, a local FBI spokesman, said that statement hasn’t changed and declined to comment further on Thursday.

    A federal investigation would examine whether Yanez intentionally violated Castile’s civil rights, which is a high legal standard because an accident, bad judgment or simple negligence is not enough to bring federal charges. Earlier this year, federal authorities declined to bring charges against two Minneapolis officers involved in the November fatal shooting of another black man, Jamar Clark, saying there was not enough evidence.
  • mc317
    mc317 Chief Of Goddamn Station Dark Side of The MoonMembers Posts: 5,548 ✭✭✭✭✭
    Cop will walk, family will win civil suit
  • D. Morgan
    D. Morgan Not even on social media BUT.... I'M SWAGGIN SO HARD I FUCKED THE GRAM UPMembers Posts: 11,662 ✭✭✭✭✭
    http://www.twincities.com/2016/08/11/philando-castiles-family-seeks-federal-probe-of-police-shooting/
    Philando Castile’s family seeks federal probe of police shooting

    The family of Philando Castile, the black motorist fatally shot by a St. Anthony police officer last month, is seeking a federal investigation into his death, according to a letter provided to the Associated Press on Thursday.

    An attorney for Castile’s family asked the U.S. Department of Justice to launch an independent investigation, saying the family believes criminal charges should be filed and that Castile was racially profiled. In the letter dated Aug. 2, attorney Glenda Hatchett tells U.S. Attorney General Loretta Lynch that “we do not believe that local law enforcement authorities will provide a fair and impartial review.”

    A DOJ spokesman was working Thursday to confirm that the agency received the letter. A spokeswoman for Minnesota U.S. Attorney Andy Luger confirmed Thursday that his office had received the letter but declined further comment.


    Asking for the Feds to come in and investigate is nothing but part of the dog and pony show. The Federal government set the 🤬 standard for all the 🤬 these state and city cops are doing.

    At this point 🤬 really just has to be part of the process for the family to get its settlement. No other way to explain the 🤬
  • Vellum
    Vellum Members Posts: 471 ✭✭✭✭
    If this cop walks. I just. I dont know. Unless they show me a video of philandro pointing the gun at him, i have no idea how he walks.

    Like bruh, unless he tried to shoot you. Why would you shoot into a car when you see a kid in the backseat.

    xZJUQP4.gif
  • Will Munny
    Will Munny Eatin pussy and kickin ass Members Posts: 30,199 ✭✭✭✭✭
    It will be a year before anything happens in this case.
  • rickmogul
    rickmogul IFNOTYNOT Members Posts: 1,961 ✭✭✭✭✭
    Chess move, gotta give them edomites props and the brother is a 🤬 who played right in2 it for a career bump. Ain't mad.