The family of Philando Castile, the black Minnesota man fatally shot last week by police during a traffic stop, plans to file a lawsuit in the wake of his death, their lawyer said on Tuesday.
Glenda Hatchett, the former host of TV's "Judge Hatchett" show, is representing Castile's family. Speaking at the Minnesota State Capitol in St. Paul, Hatchett said Castile's death was a "horrible, horrible, senseless tragedy." She called for a special prosecutor in the case.
Valerie Castile, Philando's mother, said her son "was a humanitarian.”
"He was a pillar in this community," she said. "The children that he worked with loved him. He didn't deserve to die like that.”
In what country is it, she asked, "that being honest and telling the truth will get you killed. You answer that one for me."
Castile, who was about to turn 33, was killed last Wednesday in Falcon Heights, a suburb of the Twin Cities. The Hennepin County medical examiner's office said the school cafeteria worker died of multiple gunshot wounds.
Castile's fiancée, Diamond Reynolds, live streamed the aftermath of the shooting on Facebook. She said Castile was shot while reaching into his back pocket for his ID, NBC News reported.
Hatchett, 65, is a former chief judge of Fulton County Juvenile Court in Atlanta.
"I am deeply concerned about what seems to be an epidemic of African-American men being killed by police officers," she said in an earlier statement. "We have often seen demonstrations and debates and I raise the critical question, 'When will there be systemic reform?'"