“Stunned.” That’s the word Glenda Hatchett used Wednesday to describe how she felt after seeing the dashcam footage of Philando Castile’s July 2016 shooting death during a traffic stop in suburban Minneapolis.
Officer Jeronimo Yanez, a police officer in St. Anthony, Minnesota, was acquitted Friday of second-degree manslaughter and related charges in Castile’s shooting. The St. Anthony Police Department later announced he would not return to the force.
“I was stunned,” Hatchett, a former judge who is representing Castile’s family, told CNN’s Brooke Baldwin. “I was absolutely stunned. I knew, in theory, what to expect, but we all saw it for the first time when the jury saw it. I think that it really … shows that Yanez actually panicked.”
Castile’s death and Yanez’s aquittal have raised further questions in an ongoing national debate about police accountability and use of excessive force, which Hatchett addressed during her appearance on CNN’s “New Day.”
“I am still baffled at how 12 people could come to the conclusion to acquit him in this manner,” Hatchett said. “I do think this is a compelling example of a man who doesn’t have — he’s not a fleeing felon, he’s not combative with the police, he’s doing everything that he’s been asked to, and yet he still loses his life.
“That’s the problem I’m having, the family is having, and so many people in this country are wrestling with this issue.”
Hatchett also discussed the Philando Castile Relief Foundation, which she said has already “given out scholarships in his honor.” She is now looking at “next steps” in a civil suit on behalf of Valerie Castile, Philando Castile’s mother and the administrator of his estate, but declined to confirm a report that something has been filed in federal court.
“I hope that the nation will really look at this carefully, Brooke,” she said. “I hope that we as a nation will move to a different place because we’re seeing these shootings far, far, far too often.”