Jury still deliberating in case of officer who shot Castile
- Author: Leroy Wright Jun 20, 2017,
Jun 20, 2017, 18:05
Following the verdict, peaceful protests were held throughout the weekend in St. Paul, Minneapolis and St. Anthony.
During a traffic stop last July, with his hands raised, Philando Castille told the officer he had a gun with a permit, but the officer continued to pull out his gun and fatally shot Castille. Yanez testified that he clearly saw a gun and that Castile ignored his commands to stop pulling it out of his pocket.
Mr Castile's girlfriend Diamond Reynolds filmed his dying moments and streamed the footage live on Facebook. That included several recent mistrials or acquittals when officers testified they feared for their lives, Stinson said.
Meanwhile, in a statement on the verdict, St. Paul Mayor Chris Coleman called Castile "a son of St. Paul - a graduate of Central High School, and a dedicated employee at J.J. Hill Montessori, where he was loved by his students and co-workers". "Y'all are next, and you will be standing up here fighting for justice just as well as I am".
Earlier in the day, family, friends and supporters of Castile expressed both grief and outrage at the finding. He said the verdict also implies that the Second Amendment does not apply to black people because Castil acknowledged having a concealed weapon in his auto, and did not attempt to attack the officer with it.
In a statement after the verdict was announced, St. Anthony city officials said they would offer Yanez "a voluntary separation agreement to help him transition to another career other than being a St. Anthony officer".
Many people waved signs and chanted in unison"stand up fight back and"if we don't get no justice they don't get no peace
Yanez proceeded to tell him not to reach for it, to which Castile replied that he wasn't.
Yanez was charged with second-degree manslaughter, punishable by up to 10 years in prison, though sentencing guidelines suggested around four years would have been more likely. Mr. Yanez's defense argued that the officer 'did what he had to do, ' claiming that Mr. Castile had marijuana in his auto and that 'he was stoned, ' a too-common rationalization in police killings, and an allegation that would appear in this case to be contradicted by dashboard video showing Mr. Castile to be compliant, alert and courteous.
"It was what I was expecting", she said.
Prosecutor John Choi, who made the decision to charge Yanez, said although he was disappointed, the verdict "must be respected".
"This time we had a young man who had no criminal record", she said.
Police officers arrested 18 people - including a Minnesota Daily editor, David Clarey, who was filming the protest and City Pages reporter Susan Du - for failing to leave the freeway. Yanez was also cleared of lesser counts related to endangering Reynolds and her daughter for firing his gun into the vehicle near them. Castile's mother, Valerie said as she stood outside the courtroom. Reynolds said he was reaching for his wallet. She shared the video - graphic, bloody, and tragic - on Facebook, and it quickly went viral.