Congressman Keith Ellison

Representing the 5th District of Minnesota

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Rep. Keith Ellison Statement on Death of Philando Castile

Jul 7, 2016
Press Release

Washington – Rep. Keith Ellison released the following statement on the death of Philando Castile:

“#TrayvonMartin. #MikeBrown. #TamirRice. #KyamLivingston. #WalterScott. #SandraBland. #EricGarner.  #RekiaBoyd. #LaquanMcDonald. #TanishaAnderson. #JamarClark. #AltonSterling. #PhilandoCastile. And the list goes on... and on…

“We live a world where certain Americans live in fear that their name will become a hashtag. It is not enough to say “Black Lives Matter”. It’s time to make the system mean it. We need immediate and meaningful accountability and justice. Officers who use excessive force cannot assume immunity as they routinely do today. We need one standard of justice for all. I join my colleague Representative Betty McCollum in calling for an immediate investigation by the Department of Justice.

“The video showing the immediate aftermath of the shooting is horrific. Lavish “Diamond” Reynolds acted heroically and with remarkable presence of mind when she live-streamed the incident and calmly narrated the events as they unfolded. She did this as Philando lay dying beside her and with her four-year old daughter in the vehicle. 

“Although the investigation is just beginning, I ask the Bureau of Criminal Apprehension to release any and all videos related to Philando Castile's shooting as soon as possible. The public deserves transparency in the pursuit of truth and justice. I also call on all prosecutorial authorities to reject the use of the grand jury and to make themselves personally and directly accountable for charging decisions. In the case of officer-involved shootings, it is not a trusted tool and will undermine confidence in any decision. 

“Sadly, we in the Twin Cities have been here before – most recently with Jamar Clark. Nothing we do now will bring Philando Castile back. But justice must prevail. Not just because our community will demand it, but because Philando deserves it.”