Minnesota Governor Requests Federal Investigation Into Philando Castile Fatal Police Shooting
Governor Mark Dayton vows to "do everything in my power to help protect the integrity of that investigation, to ensure a proper and just outcome for all involved"
The governor and lieutenant governor of Minnesota are calling for a federal investigation into Wednesday’s fatal police shooting of 32-year-old Philando Castile, PEOPLE confirms.
A statement issued Thursday by Gov. Mark Dayton offers condolences to Castile’s relatives while vowing to “do everything in my power to help protect the integrity of that investigation, to ensure a proper and just outcome for all involved.”
According to the statement, Dayton says he has reached out to White House Chief of Staff Denis McDonough “to request that the U.S. Department of Justice begin an immediate independent federal investigation into this matter.”
After Wednesday’s fatal officer-involved shooting, Dayton says “the Bureau of Criminal Apprehension began an independent investigation at the state level,” and that investigators “are currently collecting all necessary evidence and interviewing witnesses to determine what happened and to assure that justice in this case is served.”
In her own statement, Lt. Governor Tina Smith expresses sympathy to “everyone touched by this tragedy, including our law enforcement officers.”
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Smith adds: “As we seek justice, we must be ruled by facts and the law. We need a swift, impartial investigation, and peace.”
Police in Falcon Heights, Minnesota, allegedly shot Castile at least four times Wednesday during a traffic stop.
The incident’s aftermath was streamed live on Facebook, in a video that’s now gone viral. The nearly 10-minute video showed a woman, Diamond Reynolds, in the car with a man with a blood-soaked shirt. In the video, Reynolds says the car was pulled over for a “busted tail light.”
Last night, hundreds of protestors gathered outside the governor’s mansion demanding action.
Jon Mangseth, interim chief at the St. Anthony Police Department, confirmed during a news conference that a man died in a police shooting, noting that the traffic stop was conducted at around 9 p.m. in the St. Paul suburb. He did not name Castile as the victim.
The incident is the second officer-involved shooting this week. On Tuesday, Alton Sterling, 37, was fatally shot by police outside a convenience store in Baton Rouge, Louisiana, in an incident captured on cellphone video.