The circumstances surrounding the Jan. 14 fatal police shooting of a St. Paul man probably will be presented to a grand jury for review, Washington County Attorney Pete Orput said Friday.
Orput said the shooting death of 24-year-old Marcus Golden would be “thoroughly investigated and reviewed by 23 citizens” to determine if two St. Paul police officers acted appropriately.
Orput inherited the case because of a conflict of interest in Ramsey County. One of the officers involved is the son of a management-level employee at the Ramsey County attorney’s office, said office spokesman Dennis Gerhardstein.
Golden was killed after police said that he failed to obey orders and that he drove his vehicle at an officer in an apartment building parking lot. Police had been called to the building on the 200 block of University Avenue E. on a report that Golden was making death threats via text message.
Orput said he received the case files Thursday and began reviewing them Friday.
A grand jury review can lift a cloud of suspicion involving police, ask that more evidence be gathered or decide whether an officer acted wrongly.
In a statement, the attorney for Golden’s mother said he is planning to present the shooting case to the U.S. Department of Justice as part of a request for a civil rights investigation.
Ericka Cullars-Golden, who serves in the St. Paul police reserves, is “concerned that the [Police Department] has already defended the actions of the officers involved and painted a biased portrait of Marcus, even before completing its own investigation,” said St. Paul attorney J. Ashwin Madia.
Orput supports the review. “With all the cynicism that’s developed in the last several months,” he said, referring to unrest in police-involved shootings, “I think it’s best to take this case to them.”