Fallout from the fatal shooting of Philando Castile by a St. Anthony police officer continued to reverberate across the Twin Cities Friday, as noted civil rights activist Jesse Jackson paid a visit to St. Paul, while Gov. Mark Dayton defended comments that racism likely was a factor.
Shortly after paying a visit to Castile's girlfriend, Diamond Reynolds, Jackson surprised protesters who have gathered since Wednesday outside the governor's residence in St. Paul.
"Our brother will live as long as we will remember him. We will not forget," Jackson said to the crowd.
His comments came hours after Black Lives Matter St. Paul called on Falcon Heights to end its contract with the St. Anthony Police Department.
The demand came in the wake of Wednesday night's shooting in Falcon Heights of Castile, a black man from St. Paul who was killed by St. Anthony police officer Jeronimo Yanez during a traffic stop.
Castile had a valid permit to carry a gun, a source confirmed to the Star Tribune.
His final minutes were live-streamed by Reynolds, who was a passenger in the car along with her 4-year-old daughter.
In the video, Reynolds said Castile told Yanez that he had a permit, was armed and was reaching for his identification when he was shot.
Ramsey County Attorney John Choi called for a "prompt and thorough" investigation into the shooting, but he has yet to decide whether he will use a grand jury to determine whether charges should be brought against the officers.
In an effort to show transparency, Hennepin County Attorney Mike Freeman declined to use a grand jury when he chose this past spring not to charge two Minneapolis police officers in the November shooting of a black man, Jamar Clark.
The Minnesota Bureau of Criminal Apprehension (BCA) is investigating the case, and Choi's office has been working closely with the agency, he said. Typically, Choi has presented information about officer-involved incidents to a grand jury.
"I believe there are benefits to doing so," he said of the grand jury process. "However, I will decide how best to proceed at a later time."
Choi noted that the Facebook video shot by Reynolds is a key piece of evidence, "but the public needs to understand, we have to have the total picture."
After late-night tension at continued protests in front of the governor's residence, St. Paul Mayor Chris Coleman said he has told Police Chief Todd Axtell to leave all options open to address violence during protests.
One person was arrested Thursday night after protesters smashed the windows of an empty police car and a store on Grand Avenue.
The day after Dayton said he didn't think Castile would have been shot had he been white, the comment drew criticism from some lawmakers and others.
Dennis Flaherty, executive director of the Minnesota Police and Peace Officers Association, called the comments "incendiary," saying Dayton's "extraordinarily presumptive conclusion that the tragic incident in Falcon Heights was motivated by race is the height of political malfeasance that could lead to a miscarriage of justice, if not more violence."
Dayton said his comments wouldn't hinder investigators.
The Falcon Heights City Council voted Friday voted to hire a public relations firm to represent the city in the aftermath of the shooting.
Mayor Peter Lindstrom said afterward that "this incident has ripped into the fabric of our small community."
In Philadelphia, likely Democratic presidential nominee Hillary Clinton spoke to the general conference of the African Methodist Episcopal Church about the killings of the Dallas officers and the black men by police in Louisiana and Minnesota.
Clinton specifically praised the 4-year-old daughter of Diamond Reynolds "who bravely comforted her mother while Philando died in front of them."
Staff writers Pam Louwagie, Jessie Van Berkel, Patrick Condon, Randy Furst, Jennifer Brooks and Andy Mannix contributed to this report.