Falcon Heights, Minn — In reaction to the killing last night of Philando Castile, ACLU of Minnesota Executive Director Charles Samuelson issued the following statement:
"We are grateful to Diamond Reynolds for her courage in sharing the video of Philando Castile's brutal death, and our thoughts are with her, her family, and the rest of Mr. Castile's loved ones.
"Philando lost his life last night for no reason, shot to death in front of his girlfriend and her child. We mourn him today because the police failed to protect and serve him. If they had done their job, he would still be alive.
"Philando became the 123rd Black person to be killed by U.S. law enforcement this year. We know there is a better way to police, an approach that doesn't leave us with disproportionately high numbers of people of color injured and dead.
"The ACLU of Minnesota joins the NAACP, and others in their demand for an independent investigation of Philando's killing by a truly independent entity. We do not believe that the Bureau of Criminal Apprehension is that independent entity because the recent history of the BCA suggests that it is incapable of conducting a thorough and objective investigation into this tragic event. "
The ACLU sent a letter to U.S. Attorney Andrew Luger calling on the U.S. Justice Department to do a civil rights investigation of Philando's death.