Updated Friday June 16, 2017, 5:04 p.m. EDT: The Associated Press reports that the city of St. Anthony plans to dismiss Jeronimo Yanez, the police officer who has been acquitted in the shooting death of Philando Castile.
Updated Friday June 16, 2017, 4:21 p.m. EDT: Valerie Castile, the mother of Philando Castile, expressed her outrage and heartache Friday afternoon after the officer who killed her son was found not guilty on all charges in the fatal shooting, insisting that her son had been “murdered.”
“I will continue to say ‘murdered’ because where in this planet do you tell the truth and you be honest and you still be murdered by the police of Minnesota while you have your seat belt on and you’re in the company of a woman and a child?” Castile said, speaking to reporters outside the courthouse after the not guilty verdict.
“I’m so very, very, very, very, very disappointed in the system in the state of Minnesota.” she added. “The system continues to fail black people, and they will continue to fail you all. ... This happened with Philando; when they get done with us, they’re coming for you, you and you.”
Valerie Castile spoke about her son’s love for his state, recalling that he had had one tattoo on his body, and that was of the Twin Cities.
“My son loved this city, and this city killed my son, and the murderer gets away! Are you kidding me right now?” she said. “We’re not evolving as a civilization. We’re devolving. We’re going back down to 1969! Damn! What is it going to take? I’m mad as hell right now; yes, I am!”
St. Anthony, Minn., Police Officer Jeronimo Yanez has been acquitted of all charges relating to the fatal shooting of Philando Castile.
According to the Star Tribune, after 27 hours of grueling deliberation that spanned five days, the jury, which consisted of seven men and five women (including just two people of color), returned a not guilty verdict Friday afternoon.
Yanez faced charges of second-degree manslaughter and two counts of reckless discharge of a firearm in the July 2016 death of Castile during a traffic stop.
Prosecutors attempted to paint Yanez as reckless in his behavior, arguing that he acted prematurely. Castile, who at the time of the traffic stop was carrying a firearm for which he had a legal permit, informed the officer of his weapon while handing over his license and proof of insurance. However, within a minute, Yanez had fired seven shots, five of which struck Castile. The incident went viral after Castile’s girlfriend, Diamond Reynolds, recorded the aftermath of the shooting, posting it on Facebook Live.
Prosecutors argued that Castile “never reached for his gun, let alone put his hands on it.”
“He got nervous and he put his safety above the safety of everyone else,” Prosecutor Jeffrey Paulsen said of Yanez.
The defense argued that Castile had failed to follow orders from Yanez because he was high on marijuana and that he grabbed his gun, forcing Yanez to shoot him.
Read more at the Star Tribune.