June 23, 2017

Hundreds protest after officer acquitted in fatal shooting of Philandro Castile

17 June 2017, 07:32 | Opal Carroll

Jeronimo Yanez 2

Jeronimo Yanez  2

Outside the courthouse, Valerie Castile said Yanez got away with "murder", noting that her son was wearing a seatbelt and in a auto with his girlfriend and her then-4-year-old daughter when he was shot.

"I will continue to say murder", she said. His girlfriend said Castile was reaching for his ID in his back pocket when he was shot.

"The details of every police shooting are different, but together they add up to a frightening pattern: a long line of black men and women killed by law enforcement".

A jury found Officer Jeronimo Yanez not guilty of second-degree manslaughter as well as two counts of intentional discharge of a firearm that endangers public safety.

Defense attorneys argued that Castile was culpably negligent in the shooting because he volunteered that he possessed a gun without disclosing that he had a permit to carry it, that he reached for it instead of keeping his hands visible, and that he was high on marijuana, rendering him incapable of following Yanez's order not to reach for the gun.

In a statement, Gov. Mark Dayton said, "Mr. Castile's death was a bad tragedy ..."

On the squad-car video, Castile can be heard saying, "I'm not pulling it out", as Yanez opened fire.

Dayton drew criticism past year after suggesting that Castile might not have been shot if he was white.

"The city intends to offer Officer Yanez a voluntary separation agreement to help him transition to another career". Yanez later said that he thought Castile was reaching for his gun.

The jury in the case spent approximately 30 hours deliberating, and asked the judge to re-examine the Facebook video and the video from the police auto dashboard camera, along with Yanez's testimony on the stand.

Yanez then fired seven shots.

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Yanez did not tell Castile about the robbery suspicions, only that his brake light was out.

Jurors spent a lot of time dissecting the "culpable negligence" requirement for conviction, Ploussard said.

KSTP reporters on scene said the event is peaceful.

KARE 11's Lou Raguse reports that the family of Philando Castile and supporters left the courtroom in tears, visibly sobbing.

"He will not get away with divine justice", she said. "You can get shot by the police anyway". She pointed out her son was wearing a seatbelt and had his girlfriend and her daughter in the vehicle.

When Philandro Castile was shot and killed by a Minnesota police officer in 2016, the video of which was broadcast throughout the digital ether, it was yet another killing of a black male.

Jurors returned to their 26th hour of deliberation shortly before 10 a.m. Defense attorney Earl Gray rubbed the shoulder of Yanez. Yanez family and attorneys were escorted out a separate door.

During his testimony, Yanez reiterated what he told investigators who probed the shooting, saying he thought his life was in danger at the time. They argued that the officer overreacted and that Castile was not a threat.

Officer Jeronimo Yanez was cleared of that charge and two lesser ones Friday in the death of 32-year-old Philando Castile.

Several members of the Castile family screamed obscenities and cried after the verdict was read, and his mother, Valerie Castile, had to be restrained, the Minneapolis Star Tribune reported. His sister and others sobbed loudly.

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