ACLU of Minnesota calls for greater transparency in Saint James police shooting.

February 1, 2018

Contact: Jana Kooren,, 651-529-1693, 651-485-5925

St. Paul, Minn – On January 30, Saint James police shot and killed Gilbert Salas, a 20-year-old Latino man.

The following statement can be attributed to Julio Zelaya, ACLU-MN organizer and Saint James community member:

Whenever police kill someone it is a tragedy. A police shooting can hurt the whole community, especially when it happens in a small town like Saint James. The residents of Saint James, along with the family of Gilbert Salas, deserve to know what happened in this tragic incident. The investigation should be transparent and timely. The United States Department of Justice best practices recommend that, within eight hours of the incident, preliminary information should be released to the public. They also recommend authorities should brief community leaders within 24 hours of the incident and lay out a timeline of the investigatory process.

The ACLU-MN calls on the Bureau of Criminal Apprehension and the Saint James Police Department to be more forthcoming and transparent about the killing. 

The ACLU-MN is asking for the following:

  • Officially confirm the victim’s name. Salas’s friends and family have identified him, but no official has done so.
  • Release the name of the officer who shot and killed Salas.
  • Release any convenience store video of the incident.
  • Share critical details of the incident.

Our thoughts are with the loved ones of Gilbert Salas and the community of Saint James. Salas is the second individual killed by police in Minnesota in 2018. In 2017 police killed nine individuals in Minnesota. There are better ways to keep communities safe that don’t result in such frequent killings, with disproportionately high numbers of the victims being indigenous people or people of color.