Police officer who shot dead Philando Castile acquitted of all charges

A Minnesota police officer was acquitted of manslaughter in the shooting death of Philando Castile, a black motorist whose girlfriend streamed the aftermath live on Facebook. Outside the courthouse, Castile’s mother said the officer got away with “murder”.
Jeronimo Yanez, who is Latino, was also cleared of two lesser charges arising from the July 2016 traffic stop in a St Paul suburb. Jurors deliberated for about 29 hours over five days. Castile was shot just seconds after informing Yanez that he was carrying a gun. Yanez testified that Castile was pulling his gun out of his pocket despite commands not to do so. The defense also argued Castile was high on marijuana and said that affected his actions. Castile had a permit for the weapon, and prosecutors questioned whether Yanez ever saw it. They argued that the officer overreacted and that Castile was not a threat.
The shooting was one of a string of killings of African Americans by police around the US, and the livestreaming of its aftermath by Castile’s girlfriend, Diamond Reynolds, attracted even more attention. Public outcry included protests in Minnesota that shut down highways and surrounded the governor’s mansion. Castile’s family claimed he was profiled because of his race, and the shooting renewed concerns about how police officers interact with minorities. Minnesota governor Mark Dayton also weighed in, saying he did not think the shooting would have happened if Castile had been white.
Yanez was charged with second-degree manslaughter, punishable by up to 10 years in prison. He also faced two lesser counts of endangering Castile’s girlfriend and her then-four-year-old daughter for firing his gun into the car near them.
Yanez testified that he stopped Castile in the St Paul suburb of Falcon Heights because he thought the 32-year-old elementary school cafeteria worker looked like one of two men who had robbed a nearby convenience store a few days earlier. Castile’s car had a faulty brake light, giving the 29-year-old officer a legally sufficient pretext for pulling him over, several experts testified.
Source: https://www.theguardian.com/us-news/2017/jun/16/philando-castile-death-p…

Visit Us On TwitterVisit Us On Facebook