Castile family told investigation could last another month

Philando Castile
Philando Castile in an undated photo.

A day after meeting with Ramsey County Attorney John Choi, an uncle of Philando Castile said he's praying that investigators will do the right thing: conduct a thorough and fair investigation into Castile's shooting death by a police officer.

Ramsey County Attorney John Choi has told Castile's family Tuesday that the Bureau of Criminal Apprehension could wrap up the investigation in about a month, according to Castile's uncle, Clarence.

Castile said he was told that state investigators are sifting through police squad-car video, which includes audio, from the night his nephew was fatally shot by a St. Anthony police officer.

Clarence Castile speaks about his nephew.
Clarence Castile speaks to the media and supporters outside the governor's mansion on July 7, the morning after his nephew was killed by a police officer.
Evan Frost | MPR News

"That's all we can do — let them do their job — and hope and pray that when they look at the dash-cam, they'll see the police made a mistake somehow, [that] they didn't follow proper procedure," Clarence Castile said Wednesday. "That's what I'm hoping. From the way things look, it does look a little bit out of place."

A spokesman for Choi's office clarified that the BCA has not provided a specific timeline as to when the agency will complete its investigation.

Choi, however, "offered his best guess to the Castile family as to when the BCA may finish its work," said spokesman Dennis Gerhardstein in an email to MPR News. "We would not dispute Mr. Castile's general characterization of the County Attorney's answer to this question, but simply add that everyone in the room strongly agreed being thorough was the most important consideration."

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On Tuesday, Castile joined Philando's mother, Valerie, and family attorney Glenda Hatchett as they visited Choi and Don Lewis, an outside lawyer who is helping the county review the case. The talked for about two hours about the judicial process, Castile said.

Just a day before, on Monday, Castile and protesters helped deliver a petition to Choi demanding he hand over the case to a special prosecutor. The National Lawyers Guild's Minnesota chapter has echoed that request.

But after meeting Choi and Lewis face to face, Castile said he has no choice at this point but to trust them.

"I just think they'll do their best," Castile said. "That's what we have to work with. Whether we have another special prosecutor assigned to this case, I have no idea."

Philando Castile, a 32-year-old school cafeteria worker, was shot the night of July 6 during a traffic stop. He was pulled over in Falcon Heights by a police officer from St. Anthony.

The aftermath was captured by Castile's girlfriend, a passenger in the car, on live video streamed on Facebook, helping to fuel protests in Minnesota and across the country.