Nonprofit, nonpartisan journalism. Supported by readers.


Outside prosecutor appointed in Philando Castile case

Don Lewis
Nilan Johnson Lewis
Don Lewis

An outside proscutor for the Castile case. City Pages’ Mike Mullen writes: “Ramsey County Attorney John Choi is still in charge of the criminal case against police officers involved in the shooting death of Philando Castile. … But Choi’s getting a little outside help. … The county attorney announced Friday morning that he has retained a single outside prosecutor to join the investigatory team. Choi picked Don Lewis, a veteran attorney with the Nilan Johnson Lewis firm.”

95 percent of Southwest High students opted out of the math MCA test. 95 percent! That and other interesting info in this Star Tribune story from Mary Jo Webster and Alejandra Matos: “Leaders in the Minneapolis Public school district said this week that the accuracy of this year’s standardized test scores for some of their schools was damaged because a significant number of students opted out of taking the tests. … This year’s Minnesota Comprehensive Assessments data, released Thursday, shows that Minneapolis high schools in particular will have a hard time relying on the tests to assess the progress of their students in meeting achievement goals. … The data also show that opting out is a growing — although still small — trend elsewhere, as well.”

Okay, but how about occasional pain? MPR’s Laura Yuen writes: “Nearly 500 pain patients joined Minnesota’s medical cannabis program in July, the first month they could do so after intractable pain was added to the state’s list of qualifying medical conditions last year. It’s the highest number of patients certified by the state in a single month. … The Minnesota Department of Health says it has increased staffing at its call center to handle the hundreds of additional calls it has been receiving about the program.”

We’re guessing the size of this gift had more to do with the Medical School part than the Department of Philosophy part. The Minnesota Daily’s Aaron Job reports: “The University of Minnesota’s Department of Philosophy received the largest donation in the program’s history on Wednesday. … Dr. Stephen Setterberg of PrairieCare — a local psychiatric health care provider — donated over $1.2 million to the department. According to University officials, the donation will be allotted incrementally over the next five years. … Setterberg, who attended the University in the 1980s, is an alumnus of both the University’s Department of Philosophy and Medical School. He has been a long-time University donor, however, O’Brien said Setterberg’s most recent donation is ‘very significant’ for him.”

In other news…

These are some baaaadass little kids: “Mutton bustin’: Eight seconds and a sheep” [Rochester Post Bulletin]

They had to have known it was a long shot: “Minn. judge denies claims of 28 would-be heirs to Prince estate” [Inforum]

Above and beyond the call of duty: “2 Rogers Police Officers Deliver Baby in Living Room” [KSTP]

This is low: “Minnesotan charged with passing fake $20 bill at Kool-Aid stand” [West Central Tribune]

Kind of a funny story: “Vikings backup QB Heinicke hurt ankle trying to break into own home” [Pioneer Press]

Comments (2)

  1. Submitted by Steven James Beto on 07/31/2016 - 10:14 am.

    Standard Operating Procedures

    The facts of the case are paramount, yes, but standard operating procedures, the rules of engagement – what justifies by law the taking of a life – must also be considered. It is not enough to find that the officer was within legal parameters, but rather are those parameters moral and humane in this or any society?

    Does standard operation procedure in Minnesota violate human rights? Mr. Castile had the right to be arrested, the right to be charged, the right to be arraigned, the right to be found guilty or innocent, and the right to be sent to prison or released. These rights were taken from Mr.Castile by a police officer who believed he was justified in his action. The officer may well have been justified by law, but is that enough?

  2. Submitted by Jim Million on 07/31/2016 - 07:10 pm.

    Law and Human Rights

    Definitely a late 1960s topic. We should clearly note that Police officers are “officers of the law.” If they clearly violate laws restricting their own actions, they must be accountable.

    As of 2016, they are not legally accountable under precepts of morality or humanity, except in obviously extreme cases. If one wishes to broaden accountability, than statutes derived from specific moral tenets must be codified (as are our fundamental statutes).

    Isn’t it time to also vet our various passions in terms of realities of each circumstance? Many seem to exercise presumption of guilt without proper evidence to the extent society in general does presume innocence until legal proof dictates otherwise.

Leave a Reply