Ramsey County prosecutor asks Attorney General to help review fatal St. Paul police shooting
The Minnesota Bureau of Criminal Apprehension has now finished its investigation into the fatal St. Paul police shooting of a man in February and turned the case over to prosecutors.
Tuesday, Ramsey County Attorney John Choi said he’s received the file from the BCA and has asked Minnesota Attorney General Keith Ellison to help review the case for potential charges.
It happened on the night of Feb. 11 at Winslow Commons, an affordable housing complex for seniors and people with disabilities.
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St. Paul police said officers were called there on a report of a man threatening other residents with a knife.
There, they found 65-year-old Yia Xiong, a resident, carrying a knife. Body camera videos showed that officers ordered Xiong to drop the knife but he went into his apartment. He then came back out while still holding the knife and was shot and killed by an officer.
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Some community members protested Xiong’s killing, calling for better de-escalation training and the use of less-lethal force.
Xiong’s family also said he was deaf, had mental health challenges and didn’t speak English, which may have contributed to the confusion and him not following officers’ orders.
“Our first commitment is to a complete and transparent review of the evidence as presented by the BCA in this matter,” Choi said Tuesday. “The addition of Attorney General Ellison to the review process adds a layer of trust and confidence to our process, and I am grateful for his office’s involvement.”
“When county attorneys ask for the Attorney General’s assistance, we are ready to help,” Ellison added. “We look forward to working with the Ramsey County Attorney’s Office in their review of this case. We express our deepest condolences to the family of Yia Xiong as they go through this difficult time.”
Choi’s office has also asked for help from a use-of-force expert to review the case, the Ramsey County Attorney’s Office says.