Grand jury role in possible indictment in Falcon Heights shooting still unclear

REUTERS/Eric Miller
A boy standing at a makeshift memorial at the site of the police shooting of Philando Castile in Falcon Heights on Thursday.

Will there be a grand jury in the case of the officer who killed Philando Castile? City Pages’ Mike Mullen reports that the answer is unclear: “The police shooting of Philando Castile, a 32-year-old black man reportedly pulled over for a busted taillight, will be presented to a grand jury. Unless it isn’t. … Ramsey County Attorney John Choi made this non-announcement Friday morning, explaining that, while ‘it has long been the practice of this office to present such cases to a grand jury,’ he would ‘decide at a later time, after additional thought,’ whether to use that system in this case. ”

The Star Tribune looked into officer who was identified as the shooter. Andy Mannix and Brandon Stahl write: “Late Thursday, state officials identified the officer who fatally shot Philando Castile during a traffic stop as Jeronimo Yanez. He is a four-year member of the St Anthony Police Department.”

In case you care what Rep. Tony Cornish thinks about all this, MPR’s Bob Collins is all over it: “Philando Castile’s killing presents a challenge to them and Rep. Cornish because he appears to have behaved exactly the way he should have, with the exception of driving with a broken light on a stretch of roadway known for being a police trap for ticky-tack traffic violations. And he still ended up dead. … Cornish was unwilling to concede that maybe there’s more to a growing chasm in the country, commenting on his Facebook page instead about Gov. Dayton’s depiction of the killing in Falcon Heights.”

Minnesota gun instructors weigh in: “Are Black People at Risk When They Carry a Concealed Weapon?” [Slate]

Meanwhile, up north… The Duluth News Tribune’s John Myers reports: “Gov. Mark Dayton on Friday said he will take back state mineral leases under the proposed Essar Steel Minnesota taconite mine near Nashwauk, saying it’s clear the company doesn’t have the financial ability to finish the job or pay its contractors. … Dayton in May had set a July 1 deadline for Essar, which has been out of cash since 2015, to come up with a financing plan to pay its creditors and contractors and complete the $1.9 billion project that sits half built and idle.”

In other news…

Be sure to cap your visit with polka dancing at Nye’s Polonaise. City Pages Mike Mullen pokes fun at a particularly feeble travel article posted on Vogue’s website: “We cannot state definitively that the ‘travel’ writer of this story, ‘Why Minneapolis Should Top Your Summer Weekend Getaway List,’ filed her report without leaving the island of Manhattan. But it can be said with some confidence that if she left the office, she did not make it to Minneapolis. … From the Walker, we’re told artsy tourists should ‘wander over next door to the Guthrie Theater.’ The theater, as is apparent to anyone who’s even seen a map, is located on the other end of downtown from the Walker, a distance of more than two miles. If this is ‘next door,’ how many properties does Vogue presume exist in the whole city?”

Speaking of tone-deaf national articles, Business Insider chose today to name Minnesota’s best suburb. Their choice: Falcon Heights.

Mamma mia! “Minneapolis Institute of Art has highest attendance in 101-year history” [Star Tribune]

If you were planning to take the light rail this weekend: “Buses will replace Blue and Green Line trains this weekend” [Metro Transit]

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Comments (3)

  1. Submitted by RB Holbrook on 07/08/2016 - 01:40 pm.

    Rep. Cornish

    If I were to compile a list of the five people whose comments about the Philando Castile were least likely to be helpful, Rep. Cornish would be numbers 1 through 4.

  2. Submitted by Mike Chrun on 07/08/2016 - 11:14 pm.


    After Sandy Hook, Tony Cornish, the deep thinker that he is, had the solution to school shootings. Of course, it involved more guns. He wanted to arm teachers. When I contacted him and pointed out that this might not be that good an idea, he immediately replied calling me a “gun grabber.” That this buffoon has that much power over gun legislation is one of the reasons that finding a solution to at least lessen the loss of human lives to gun violence seems hopeless. It’s ironic that Philando was killed because he was exercising the right that Cornish claims is sacred.

  3. Submitted by Steven James Beto on 07/10/2016 - 08:55 am.


    The value of perception is based upon what reason infers from a verifiable data set. The officer’s perception is in question. Is it reasonable to assume that a weapon exists? In the unfolding scenario, which behaviors and circumstances came to bear upon the officer’s training and perception? Was the presence of a weapon assumed or verified? Did the facts justify the officer’s decision?

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