philando castile & cop gun in car window

*The family of Philando Castile wants justice. Castile was fatally shot by a suburban Minneapolis police officer and an attorney has asked the Justice Department to launch an independent investigation in the 32-year-old’s death that was streamed via Facebook Live.

In a letter to the Justice Department dated August 2, Attorney Glenda Hatchett (Yes, the TV judge) writes to U.S. Attorney General Loretta Lynch and says “we do not believe that local law enforcement authorities will provide a fair and impartial review.”

The family also believes criminal charges should be filed and that Castile was racially profiled.

A spokesman for the Justice Department was working Thursday to confirm that the agency received the letter, according to the Daily News. A spokeswoman for Minnesota U.S. Attorney Andy Luger confirmed Thursday that his office had received the letter, but did not provide additional comments.

Castile, who worked at an elementary school cafeteria, was shot during a traffic stop by St. Anthony Police Officer Jeronimo Yanez. Castile informed the officer he had a gun and permit to carry it.


Castile’s girlfriend, Diamond Reynolds, said she and Castile were told they were pulled over for a broken tail light. She said Castile was reaching for his wallet when he was shot.

In the video, Castile can be seen slumped over next to her in the driver’s seat, with his shirt soaked with blood. An attorney representing Yanez said he was reacting to the presence of a gun, and that he thought Castile looked like “a possible match” for a suspect in a recent armed robbery nearby.

Shortly after the July 6 shooting, the Department of Justice said it was monitoring the investigation and would provide assistance as needed.

Jeff Van Nest, a local FBI spokesman, said that statement hasn’t changed and declined further comment Thursday.

A federal investigation would examine whether Yanez intentionally violate Castile’s civil rights

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