Ramsey County Attorney Choi’s Intellectual Work is Authentic
Today, Nov. 16, 2016, Ramsey County (MN) Attorney John Choi charged police officer Geronimo Yanez with manslaughter. Yanez fired seven shots killing Philando Castile July 6, 2016 during a routine traffic violation.
“Based upon our thorough and exhaustive review of the facts, Officer Yanez’s life was not in danger,” said Choi.
County Attorney Demonstrates Sound Thinking
Today’s press conference showcases all that we could hope for in a public official. Choi describes the how he and his team constructed their knowledge and engaged in disciplined inquiry to reach a fair conclusion based on the facts. They carefully analyzed evidence over the past 19 weeks, reviewing footage captured by the officer’s dashboard camera and combing through eye witness testimony. Educators doing Authentic Intellectual Work (AIW) teach students this same type of elaborated communication: supporting generalizations with strong evidence.
County Attorney Models Strong Public Servant Behavior
Attorney Choi conduct during the press conference was equally impressive. With ernest, he described his team’s thinking and at no point used biased or emotional rhetoric. His language stayed clear, descriptive, analytical and understandable. Choi also is aware of his power and position, never speaking down to the public, nor becoming defensive or aggressive. These depositions are critical to effective communication and essentials for being heard.
County Attorney Choi’s decision, behavior and language are all bright spots in today’s charged political climate. Educators engaging in Authentic Intellectual Work (AIW) in schools know how difficult it can be to exhibit these qualities, especially when weighing in on challenging topics.
Choi reminds us what AIW looks like in action: how to share analytical thinking when offering compelling evidence free from derision and slander.