Judge Glenda Hatchett and the Hatchett Law Firm will represent Philando Castile’s family in all civil legal matters related to his tragic death. On Wednesday night, Castile was killed by a St. Anthony police officer during a random traffic stop in Falcon Heights, Minn. The 32-year-old was one of two African-American men killed by law enforcement last week in the United States.
Castile’s death brought national attention to the abundance of black men who are being killed without merit at the hands of the police. The aftermath of the shooting was streamed on Facebook live by the victim’s girlfriend. The accused officer, Jeronimo Yanez, is now on administrative leave, and as of today, has not been charged.
The deceased worked at J. J. Montessori School as a nutrition supervisor. According to officials, he had no prior felony arrests. A news conference is scheduled for Tuesday morning at the Minnesota State Capitol building. During this meeting, Hatchett and Valerie Castile, the victim’s mother, will outline the expectations for the case, answer questions from the media, and announce funeral arrangements for the deceased.
Hatchett is nationally known as the host of the syndicated television program, “Judge Hatchett” and is now bringing her wisdom, passion, innovative problem solving beyond the bench with the Hatchett Law Firm. Hatchett and her firm will represent Castile’s family in search of accountability for his unmerited death. In a statement, she said:
I am deeply concerned about what seems to be an epidemic of African-American men being killed by police officers. We have often seen 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.
Following the two deadly police shootings of black men – in two consecutive days – the names of the victims, Alton Sterling and Philando Castile, have now become trending hashtags. Their families are demanding justice for the senseless murders. The violence nor fear is new to African-Americans. This community has long been accustomed to police brutality and special instructions when dealing with law enforcement.
This burden has been one carried for decades by black parents. Along with raising productive citizens, parenting African-American children has always had the added bonus of keeping their child safe in a country that continues to be perilous for black men. This fear has fueled a generational need for a crucial, culturally compulsory speech that warns young African-American men about the inherent strikes against them and about a society that has been conditioned to bring them down.
Judge Hatchett is aiming to bring a measure of justice to Castile’s grieving family. They know nothing can bring the victim back, but they do not want his death to be in vain. According to Judge Hatchett:
Valerie Castile and her family are very passionate and committed to ensuring that Philando’s death is not just another statistic. 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.
Unfortunately, police brutality in America is getting worse. Black America is tired of the injustices that are continuously handed to them and, without change; the violence will get worse. The problem is complicated and deeply entrenched in the way law enforcement has chosen to police urbanized communities. African-Americans have overwhelmingly been unjustly stereotyped and viewed negatively with no change in sight. However, just as it is unfair to say all police are bad, it is equally not fair to suggest that all black men are criminals. The ongoing crisis must be eradicated and replaced with unity in order to overcome the violence and bring healing to a hurting community.
Judge Hatchett and her national network of attorneys and crisis management experts are seeking justice for the latest victim. While many have shifted their focus to the tragedy that occurred in Dallas, Texas which resulted in the death of five officers, this does not minimize the crisis surrounding this epidemic of police brutality aimed at African-Americans. All lives matter but not all have become unfair targets. Though officers have been charged in some of the fatal shootings involving black men, they are rarely indicted even when their actions are captured on video. Judge Hatchett will represent Philando Castile’s family in civil legal matters and hopes to help rewrite the current script.
By Cherese Jackson (Virginia)
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