Breaking News Emails
The family of Philando Castile, the Minnesota man whose fatal shooting last week by police helped spark protests nationwide, is planning a lawsuit, although their lawyer wouldn't say Tuesday who would be sued.
Castile, 32, was killed last Wednesday during a traffic stop in Falcon Heights, a suburb of the Twin Cities.
Two officers from the St. Anthony's Police Department, whose jurisdiction includes Falcon Heights, are on administrative leave pending an investigation.
Castile's mother, Valerie Castile said at a news conference in St. Paul, Minn., that her son, a cafeteria worker in the St. Paul school system who would have turned 33 on Saturday, "was a humanitarian" and "a pillar in this community."
"The children he worked with loved him," Castile said. "He did not deserve to die like that. He is the driving force in me to make sure this doesn't happen to another mother."
Castile's attorney, former reality TV judge Glenda Hatchett, offered little information about the family's planned lawsuit — not even saying who would be sued.
Hatchett, who hosted the syndicated series "Judge Hatchett" for eight years before opening a personal injury law firm in Atlanta, said she is assembling an independent investigative team, saying she couldn't rely on state investigators.
Lawyers for the officer who killed Philando Castile, whom police have identified as Jeronimo Yanez, have said Castile was shot because he had a gun — not because of the fact that he was black.
Asked at Tuesday's news conference about that assertion, Hatchett said: "I will see you in court, and trust me, we will be well prepared. I will not rest until justice is done."
President Barack Obama, meanwhile, offered his condolences to Valerie Castile and to the family of Alton Sterling, whom police shot and killed July 5 in Baton Rouge, La.
White House press secretary Josh Earnest said Obama called both families from aboard Air Force One while on his way to Dallas to speak at a memorial service for five police officers killed after a demonstration last week, one of many across the nation held in response to the shootings.