PRESS RELEASE STATEMENT REGARDING THE VERDICT IN THE TRIAL OF THE OFFICER WHO KILLED PHILANDO CASTILE
WHAT: ATTORNEY GLENDA HATCHETT’S STATEMENT ON BEHALF OF VALERIE CASTILE, PHILANDO CASTILE’S MOTHER
WHEN: Friday, June, 16, 2017
WHO: Valerie Castile and Glenda Hatchett of The Hatchett Firm, P.C., Attorney for the Family of Philando Castile

THE FACTS: MINNEAPOLIS, June 16, 2017 (Today) This verdict is incomprehensible. What happened here today was a travesty. My heart breaks for the Castile family and all families throughout this nation that have been victimized by similar events. Philando Castile, an African American man, was pulled over by a law enforcement officer. Philando went above and beyond Minnesota law by alerting the officer that he had a firearm. We all know how the story ended, him being killed. These events weren’t based on hearsay or speculation; there was no difference of opinion where reasonable minds should have disagreed. We watched video and audio footage of Philando being gunned down in the presence of his girlfriend and her small child while fully complying with the officer’s request.

John Choi, Ramsey County Attorney; Don Lewis, Special Prosecutor and the Prosecution Team: Attorneys Jeffrey Paulsen, Richard Dusterhoft, and Clayton Robinson Jr. did an excellent job in prosecuting this case. Throughout the trial we saw a combination of talent and tenacity.

Valerie Castile, mother of Philando Castile stated, “I am very disappointed in the verdict but I believe in my heart that my son’s death at the hands of Yanez was not justified. He was doing everything that I taught him to do to be fully compliant. Even though Philando’s death was not vindicated today, I will never stop as long as I live fighting for justice through the Philando Castile Relief Foundation.”

What happened today in St. Paul, Minnesota, and what message has the verdict sent? In spite of the outcome of this proceeding, we will continue to fight for justice for all men of color who are wrongfully gunned down by those who have abused their badge. Let it be known that I believe in my heart that Yanez eluded conviction with the unjustifiable killing of Philando Castile.

Although the battle in court was lost, we will pursue justice through legislation. More extensive police training and systemic reform are essential to ending this trend of injustice.