The Minnesota Bureau of Criminal Apprehension (BCA) formally presented its investigation to the Ramsey County Attorney’s Office in the July 6 officer-involved shooting death of Philando Castile.
The investigation lasted nearly three months with the BCA turning over its findings on Sept. 28. Now, it’s up to Ramsey County Attorney John Choi to sift through the findings to determine if charges are to be brought against St. Anthony Police Officer Jeronimo Yanez, who fatally shot Castile following a traffic stop for a supposed broken taillight. Choi said his office will work diligently in deciding whether or not to file charges against Yanez, but set no time table.
“Our office will work as efficiently as possible, while ensuring we conduct a diligent and thorough prosecution review of the BCA investigation, in order to determine what justice requires in this case,” said Choi in a statement. “At this time, we are in the process of engaging national use-of-force consultants to assist in our prosecution review and evaluation of the BCA investigation. Also, it is very likely that we will be requesting further investigation from the BCA, as is typical in these types of cases. We cannot provide an estimated timeline for our work until we review the entire investigative file and meet with national use-of-force consultants.”
In the case of the officer-involved shooting incident of Jamar Clark in Hennepin County, the prosecution review took a total of seven weeks, thus it could be well into November or even December before Choi’s office comes to a decision.
At issue is whether Yanez was reasonable in his use of force in shooting Castile, who was legally armed, but according to eye witness Diamond Reynolds, Castile notified Yanez that he possessed a weapon and when Castile went to produce his identification as instructed Yanez shot, killing Castile, who was driving with Reynolds and her 4-year-old daughter as passengers. The immediate aftermath was live streamed to Facebook by Reynolds and sparked nationwide protests. It was later determined through police audio that Yanez pulled over Castile for his “wide set nose” saying he matched the description of a robbery suspect.
Castile had no criminal record and was a food service supervisor with the St. Paul Public Schools.