ST. PAUL, Minn. - The Minnesota Bureau of Criminal Apprehension (BCA) has completed its investigation into the officer-involved death of Philando Castile.
It is now up to the Ramsey County Attorney's Office to decide whether charges should be filed in the case.
Ramsey County Attorney John Choi released a statement Wednesday:
Our office will work as efficiently as possible, while ensuring we conduct a diligent and thorough prosecution review of the BCA investigation, in order to determine what justice requires in this case. At this time, we are in the process of engaging national use-of-force consultants to assist in our prosecution review and evaluation of the BCA investigation. Also, it is very likely that we will be requesting further investigation from the BCA, as is typical in these types of cases.
On August 2, 2016, I met with the Castile family and shared details with them on how we will proceed with our prosecution review and our intention to be diligent and thorough in our work.
We cannot provide an estimated timeline for our work until we review the entire investigative file and meet with national use-of-force consultants. Our engagement of such expert consultants will begin as early as tomorrow. By way of reference only, in the case of the officer-involved shooting incident of Jamar Clark in Hennepin County, the prosecution review took a total of seven weeks.
Castile, 32, was shot and killed by a St. Anthony police officer in Falcon Heights on July 6, during a traffic stop on Larpenteur Avenue. Castile's girlfriend, Diamond Reynolds, filmed the aftermath in a Facebook Live video, which was viewed millions of times.
The incident led to numerous protests and marches in front of Gov. Mark Dayton's residence.
On July 29 Choi announced he was enlisting the help of Don Lewis, a longtime civil rights lawyer, former dean of the Hamline University's School of Law and a former assistant U.S. Attorney for Minnesota, to act as a special prosecutor on the Castile case.
Former U.S. Attorney Tom Heffelfinger, who is not involved in this case, believes Choi will take even longer than the seven weeks Hennepin County Attorney Mike Freeman took with the Clark case.
"After reviewing the file, the prosecutors will almost certainly tell the BCA they have questions and tell the BCA to do further investigation," Heffelfinger said.
Heffelfinger said national "use-of-force" consultants probably consist of former law enforcement officers or military police.
Choi has not decided whether to use a grand jury or make the charging decision himself. He has provided answers to "frequently asked questions" on his website.