Minnesota Leaders, Minnesota Gun Owners Caucus Join Together After Fatal Police Shooting

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Minnesota Gun Owners Caucus Join Governor Dayton and Other Minnesota Leaders in Calling for Federal Investigation of Fatal Police Shooting in St. Paul

The fatal police shooting of Philando Castile, 32, and his girlfriend’s subsequent livestream of the aftermath in Falcon Heights on July 6, 2016 sparked outrage and protest by many in the community.

Governor Mark Dayton spoke to protesters in front of the Governors Mansion on Thursday afternoon; calling the shooting a “horrible, horrible tragedy.”  Dayton said that the BCA (Bureau of Criminal Apprehension) had begun an independent investigation overnight and that he called President Obama’s Chief of Staff and requested that the Attorney General and Department of Justice – Civil Rights division – also investigate the shooting.

The Minnesota Gun Owners Caucus joined Dayton in that request, and also offered “to work with any law enforcement agency that wishes to review their protocols and training for interactions with legally armed citizens.”  In a statement released today, the Executive Director, Bryan Strawser said:

“We believe strongly that all citizens deserve equal protection under the law. In this case, as in others, citizens should expect and receive full transparency and accountability from law enforcement agencies that serve our local communities. We fully support the independent investigation being conducted by the Minnesota Bureau of Criminal Apprehension (BCA) and join with Governor Dayton in asking for an independent federal investigation into this incident.”

“This tragedy may also offer an opportunity to take a hard look at police training and protocols related to interactions with armed citizens who are legally carrying a firearm. Despite their portrayal by some, law-abiding permit holders are statistically among the safest populations in our state. With more than 221,000 Minnesotans holding a Permit to Carry, nearly 1 out of every 25 citizens encountered by police may legally be carrying a firearm.”

Minnesota Senators Amy Klobuchar (D) and Al Franken (D) also released statements, offering condolences to the victim’s family and calling for investigations into Castile’s death, as well as “At the same time, we must do more to ensure accountability and trust between our law enforcement and the communities they serve” (Klobuchar statement).

President Obama released the following statement on Facebook Thursday afternoon:

UPDATED 10:43am July 8, 2016

 

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