Former TV judge Glenda Hatchett has signed on to represent the family of Philando Castile, who was fatally shot by police during a traffic stop in Falcon Heights, Minnesota, on July 6.
According to NBC News, Hatchett addressed the news in a press conference in St. Paul, Minnesota, on Tuesday, July 12. She was joined by Castile's mother, Valerie Castile.
The 65-year-old litigator, formerly chief judge of Fulton County Juvenile Court in Atlanta, said Valerie and her family are planning a lawsuit related to Castile's death. "We will aggressively pursue justice on his behalf," Hatchett told reporters.
In a statement on Monday, July 11, the former judge spoke about the rash of recent police shootings, which have sparked protests around the country and inspired the Black Lives Matter movement.
"I am deeply concerned about what seems to be an epidemic of African-American men being killed by police officers," the statement read, per Atlanta's WXIA. "We have often seen 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."
She added that Castile's family was "committed to ensuring that [his] death is not just another statistic."
Meanwhile, a lawyer for the police officer involved in the shooting said Monday that Jeronimo Yanez mistook Castile as a "possible match" for an armed robbery suspect. The attorney also said the officer's reaction had nothing to do with race.
Castile's death came just one day after police shot and killed Alton Sterling while he was pinned to the ground in Baton Rouge, Louisiana.
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