Philando Castile’s Girlfriend Receives $800K Settlement

By Diannah Watson,
The city of St. Anthony, Minnesota that was responsible for hiring an officer who shot and killed a Black man during a traffic stop reached a settlement with Philando Castile‘s girlfriend and daughter who were in the car during the incident.
CBS News reports, on Tuesday, Nov. 29, the city council voted in favor of paying Diamond Reynolds and her 4-year-old daughter $675,000. In addition to that, she will receive $125,000 from the League of Minnesota Cities Insurance Trust and the city of Roseville where she was taken by police.
According to officials from the city of St. Anthony, Reynolds filed a complaint in Ramsey County looking for monetary damages from the shooting. Earlier this month the city met with Reynolds were they agreed on an amount.
“If we don’t approve this and we go ahead with litigation, it would just reopen the whole case again and bring heartache to everyone involved,” explained Mayor Jerry Faust. “It is best to settle, and this will resolve all civil litigation stemming from the incident on July 6, 2016, and it opens the door to continued healing within our community.”
Castile was driving in Falcon Heights when a St. Anthony police officer pulled him over and shot him after he told the officer he was armed. Reynolds streamed the aftermath of the shooting live on Facebook.
Officer Jeronimo Yanez was acquitted of manslaughter and other charges.

The Battle Over Jackson County Detention Center Continues

By Eric L. Wesson Sr.
CALL Staff Writer
In what appears to be another step in the ongoing feud between the Jackson County Legislature and County Executive Frank White Jr., Jackson County Prosecutor Jean Peters Baker joined the ranks of the Legislature by submitting a letter to the County Executive declining his invitation to join a task-force that he recently seated to come up with recommendations for the Jackson County jail.
On Monday, Nov. 27, the Jackson County Prosecutor submitted her letter declining the invitation to participate on a task-force to examine many of the issues associated with the County jail.
In part, she sided with the Legislature, in that immediate action is needed to resolve the issues surrounding the County jail and that other task-forces have already stated.
“I am writing to inform you that I am declining your invitation to serve on a new task-force regarding the Jackson County Detention center. The recent brutal assault of a corrections officer has prompted me to re-evaluate my participation,” Ms. Peters Baker said.
“It’s clear that action is required immediately. Community input may be helpful in guiding your staff regarding impacts related to long-term solutions. But action is required now to fix the immediate problems at the jail. The jail expert who advised the County Legislature were very clear earlier this year that the overcrowded conditions and poor staffing  were a crisis that needed to be addressed immediately,” she said.
“They recommended closing a part of the jail until those conditions could be remedied. Spending more time to further study the overcrowded and unsafe conditions at the detention center is simply inappropriate,”  Ms. Peters Baker said.
Read more in The Call.

LaToya Cantrell Becomes New Orleans’ First Woman Mayor

NEW ORLEANS (AP) — LaToya Cantrell, a City Council member who first gained a political following as she worked to help her hard-hit neighborhood recover from Hurricane Katrina, won a historic election Saturday (November 18) that made her the first woman mayor of New Orleans.

The Democrat will succeed term-limited fellow Democrat Mitch Landrieu as the city celebrates its 300th anniversary next year.
“Almost 300 years, my friends. And New Orleans, we’re still making history,” Ms. Cantrell told a cheering crowd in her victory speech.
The leader in most polls before the runoff election, she never trailed as votes were counted.

Her opponent, former municipal Judge Desiree Charbonnet, conceded the race and congratulated Ms. Cantrell late Saturday. Later, complete returns showed Cantrell with 60 percent of the vote.
“I do not regret one moment of anything about this campaign,” Charbonnet said.

The two women led a field of 18 candidates in an October general election to win runoff spots.

Landrieu earned credit for accelerating the recovery from Hurricane Katrina in an administration cited for reduced blight, improvements in the celebrated tourism economy and economic development that included last week’s announcement that a digital services company is bringing 2,000 new jobs to the city.

But Ms. Cantrell will face lingering problems. Crime is one. Another is dysfunction at the agency overseeing the city’s drinking water system and storm drainage — a problem that became evident during serious flash flooding in August.

Ms. Cantrell faced questions about her use of a city credit card. Judge Charbonnet had to fight back against critics who cast her as an insider who would steer city work to cronies.

Katrina was a theme in the backstories of both candidates. Ms. Cantrell moved to the city from California. Her work as a neighborhood activist in the aftermath of Katrina in the hard-hit Broadmoor neighborhood helped her win a seat on council in 2012.
Judge Charbonnet, from a well-known political family in New Orleans, was the city’s elected recorder of mortgages before she was a judge. In the campaign she made a point of saying hers was the first city office to re-open after Katrina, providing critical property records to the displaced.