ATLANTA - The family of Philando Castile has announced they've hired Judge Glenda Hatchett, former Chief Judge of the Juvenile Court of Fulton County, to represent them.
"I will be reaching out to the justice department, to the Attorney General, because I want to make sure that the federal government is watching closely what has happened and what will happen in this case," Hatchett said Tuesday at a joint news conference with the Castile family.
The Atlanta-based Hatchett, who is known for her daytime television show ‘Judge Hatchett’, will represent the civil interests of Castile, who was shot and killed by a police officer in Falcon Heights, Minnesota on July 6.
The aftermath of the 32-year-old’s death was streamed live on Facebook by his girlfriend. It sparked nationwide outrage after her post went viral. Officer Jeronimo Yanez is on paid administrative leave pending the outcome of an investigation into the shooting, which is standard procedure for such cases.
“I am deeply concerned about what seems to be an epidemic of African-American men being killed by police officers. We have often seemed 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,” Hatchett stated in a release Monday.
Hatchett also stated she is “very passionate and committed to ensuring that Philando’s death is not just another statistic.”
Hatchett said at the news conference Tuesday she'll also be requesting a special prosecutor to be appointed to the case.
Hatchett served as Fulton County’s Chief Judge of the Juvenile Court for eight years before taking her law career onto TV.