ATLANTA – Glenda Hatchett and the Hatchett Law Firm announced Monday they will be representing the family of Philando Castile in all civil legal matters related to his death after a traffic stop in suburban St. Paul, Minnesota last week.
Castile’s death was one of two deaths of African American men by police officers in the US last week, which brought the attention of the nation to the question of what appears to be an overabundance of the death black men at the hands of law enforcement. The death of 32-year-old Castile was streamed by his girlfriend over social media.
The police officer involved in the shooting, Jeronimo Yanez, has been placed on administrative leave.
Hatchett served eight years as former chief judge of the Juvenile Court of Fulton County, Georgia, and as host of the nationally syndicated “Judge Hatchett” television program.
“I am deeply concerned about what seems to be an epidemic of African-American men being killed by police officers. We have often seemed 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,” Hatchett said in a statement.
Castile, a school nutrition supervisor at J.J. Hill Montessori School, had received no prior felony arrests, according to officials.
Hatchett and Castile’s mother, Valerie Castile, will hold a news conference Tuesday morning at the Minnesota State Capitol building to outline their expectations for their civil case, announce funeral arrangements for Castile, and to respond to media questions.
“Valerie Castile and her family are very passionate and committed to ensuring that Philando’s death is not just another statistic,” said Hatchett. “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.”