Philando Castile shooting: Outside attorney to help decide on charges

By | July 29, 2016

A Minnesota county prosecutor said Friday he has appointed an outside attorney to help him decide whether to pursue criminal charges in the July 6 shooting death of a black man by a police officer.

Ramsey County chief prosecutor John Choi told reporters that he will bring in Don Lewis, a private attorney and former federal criminal prosecutor, to join his office’s deliberations on whether to file charges in the death of Philando Castile outright or delegate the decision to a grand jury.

“I have chosen to incorporate a special prosecutor into our team to provide independent perspective bolstered by the authority of this office,” Choi said at a news conference in St. Paul. “I’m not simply asking for his advice or approval. … Don will be an integral member of our team who will review this case with me.”

Choi’s decision is something of a compromise. He said the American Civil Liberties Union and an attorney for Castile’s family had been calling on him to hand off the decisions to a special prosecutor entirely to quell concerns over whether prosecutors can hold police in their own district accountable. (CNN)

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