Neighboring police forces assist St. Anthony in the wake of July 6 shooting

Village patrol officers voluntarily take PTO days 

St. Anthony police officers took some time off after the July 6 killing of Philando Castile in Falcon Heights by a St. Anthony police officer.

According to St. Anthony city manager Mark Casey, the police department didn’t close down, but all the patrol officers, by choice, took paid time off in the wake of Castile’s death and the protests that ensued.

“The recent events and the need for increased patrols and other security coverage, as well as being able to properly schedule our officers, required us to reach out to other public safety partners for support,” Casey said. “We have responded in similar circumstances when other communities have asked us for help.”

Officers from neighboring communities, including some as far away as Richfield and Bloomington, filled in to “ensure appropriate coverage,” Casey said. 

In a statement, the city wrote that St. Anthony Village and the cities of Falcon Heights and Lauderdale, which contract with the St. Anthony Police Department, “are receiving offers of assistance from many of their neighboring communities and public safety agencies.”

Residents were notified that they could expect to see different squad cars patrolling the area, different than the marked St. Anthony vehicles typically spotted in the three cities. 

According to Casey, acting police Chief Jon Mangseth and other supervisors did not take time off, and now St. Anthony patrol officers are back on duty, excluding Officer Jeronimo Yanez, who shot Castile, a 32-year-old African-American man who was an elementary school cafeteria supervisor, during a routine traffic stop at Larpenter Avenue and Fry Street.

 

Protest outside City Hall

Though remaining open, St. Anthony City Hall went a bit quiet Friday, July 8, two days after the shooting.

Casey explained that the issue was not related to the fatal shooting, as some residents speculated in emails to the Bulletin newspaper.

“Phones and computers were down for part of the day on Friday due to a problem with a software update,” Casey said. 

People protesting the killing of Castile by Yanez, a four-year veteran of the police department, staged a rally at St. Anthony City Hall July 10. 

The peaceful event shut down Silver Lake Road between 37th and 33rd avenues N.E. for hours on Sunday afternoon. 

Approximately 200 people, some carrying “Black Lives Matter” banners, massed in front of City Hall, which appeared to be vacant of city employees at the time, and listened to speakers and performed protest chants. 

On July 8, St. Anthony uploaded a video to YouTube of Mayor Jerry Faust addressing the community at large concerning the week’s events. 

“All of the community of St. Anthony is deeply saddened by the death of Mr. Castile,” he said. “Our thoughts and prayers go out to him and his family, and for all those individuals that are grieving from what has occurred ... We’ve all struggled with this tragic event.”

He also spoke of the importance of having a thorough investigation, which is being handled by the Minnesota Bureau of Criminal Apprehension.

“We as a community are committed to a thorough, accountable and complete investigation,” Faust said. “It is important for all of us to know what had happened and gather the information. 

“St. Anthony is a thoughtful, caring community that is transparent and accountable,” he continued. “We are going to make sure that an incident of this nature never happens again.”

 

Jesse Poole can be reached at jpoole@lillienews.com or at 651-748-7815. Follow him at @JPooleNews.

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