The family of Philando Castile, the black Minnesota man shot and killed last week by police, has hired the former host of TV’s “Judge Hatchett” to represent them in a potential civil lawsuit, her law firm announced Monday.
Castile, who was about to turn 33, was fatally shot by police during a traffic stop July 6 in Falcon Heights, Minn. His death was streamed by his girlfriend over social media. The cop involved in the shooting, Jeronimo Yanez, has been placed on administrative leave.
Glenda Hatchett, a former chief judge of Fulton County Juvenile Court in Atlanta and host of the nationally syndicated “Judge Hatchett,” is scheduled to appear at a news conference today with Castile’s mother, Valerie Castile, at the Minnesota State Capitol in St. Paul.
“I am deeply concerned about what seems to be an epidemic of African-American men being killed by police officers. We have often seemed demonstrations and debates and I raise the critical question, ‘When will there be systemic reform?’ Reform such that, citizens are not in fear of their lives when stopped and questioned by the police,” Hatchett said in a statement.
Castle and Hatchett are expected to outline their expectations for the civil case, announce funeral arrangements for Castile, and to respond to media questions during the press conference.
“Valerie Castile and her family are very passionate and committed to ensuring that Philando’s death is not just another statistic,” said Hatchett. “She wants her son’s death to mark a time in this country’s history where reform becomes less about rhetoric and more about reality.”