WASHINGTON, D.C. – The Lawyers’ Committee for Civil Rights Under Law Lawyers’ Committee) issued the following the St. Anthony Police Department-involved shooting of Philando Castile:
“Once again, another African American man is shot and killed at the hands of the police, this time while still wearing a seat belt in the driver’s seat of a vehicle pulled over for a broken tail light.,” said Kristen Clarke, president and executive director of the Lawyers’ Committee for Civil Rights Under Law. “The crisis of police-involved shootings across our country is intensifying. Impacted families and communities, including young children, demand answers. We request that the U.S. Department of Justice swiftly bring federal resources to bear to ensure a thorough and fair investigation, and if warranted, a criminal prosecution of the officers involved in the shooting death of Mr. Philando Castile in Falcon Heights, Minnesota.”
“Following the criminal investigation, a civil investigation of the St. Anthony Police Department should be conducted to identify and eliminate systemic problems that may have contributed to Mr. Castile’s tragic death. Moreover, it is time for the Justice Department, lawmakers and law enforcement officials to collectively address the need for implicit bias training and other entrenched problems that have resulted in the loss of too many black lives at the hands of police officers,” added Clarke.
Prior to joining the Lawyers’ Committee for Civil Rights Under Law, Clarke served as a former federal prosecutor at the U.S. Department of Justice where she handled police brutality cases. Clarke also worked at the New York State Attorney General’s Office where she assisted with efforts to appoint the Attorney General’s Office as an independent prosecutor tasked with handling all investigations and any prosecutions resulting from police-involved shootings of unarmed individuals in New York State.