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A Minnesota police department will go through comprehensive assessment

One of its officers shot Philando Castile and has been charged with manslaughter

CNN —  

The U.S. Department of Justice will review the practices and policies of the St. Anthony Police Department in Minnesota after one of its officers fatally shot Philando Castile during a traffic stop in July.

The police department and the three cities where it provides service voluntarily requested the comprehensive assessment, which is expected to take two years.

Ronald Davis, the Department of Justice’s director of the Office of Community Oriented Policing Services, commended the St. Anthony Police Department for opening itself up to the process. He announced the review on Thursday.

“The truth can hurt, but selective ignorance is fatal,” he said. “The chief and the mayors are being willing to be told the hard truths about what’s working and what’s not working.”

The police department came under national spotlight after the fatal shooting of Castile, 32.

The news of his shooting on July 6 spread on social media when his fiancée, Diamond Reynolds, live-streamed the aftermath of the shooting on Facebook. Reynolds’$2 4-year-old daughter was also in the car when the shooting occurred.

The aftermath of the shooting was streamed onto Facebook Live by Castile's girlfriend.
Diamond Reynolds/Facebook
The aftermath of the shooting was streamed onto Facebook Live by Castile's girlfriend.

The incident, along with the July 5 fatal police shooting of Alton Sterling in Baton Rouge, Louisiana, sparked protests nationwide and renewed the debate over the relationship between law enforcement and the communities they serve.

Jeronimo Yanez, the St. Anthony police officer who shot Castile, was charged with second-degree manslaughter and two felony counts of dangerous discharge of a firearm.

What the review entails

The DOJ is expected to look at systemwide policies and operations of the St. Anthony Police Department, including use of force, traffic stops, training, and recruitment and hiring practices.

The review is not a re-investigation of a single case or a probe looking at specific officers, Davis said. The scope is to intended to examine the entire organization.

The process will include community input and the report will be made public, he said.

St. Anthony Police chief Jon Mangseth said the department “needed to maintain safety and build trust in communities we serve.”

“To do this, we immediately became aware that we needed help from a highly regarded entity that could provide active technical assistance, assessment tools, guidance and recommendations in order for us to serve our community better.”

St. Anthony Police Department joins 15 other cities that are going through similar reform process, including San Francisco, Philadelphia and Milwaukee.

CNN’s Ralph Ellis contributed to this report.