By Milca P.
Friday [June 16, 2017], the police officer charged in the shooting death of Philando Castile was acquitted by a jury on all charges.
It was nearly a year ago that Officer Jeronimo Yanez pulled over Castile in the Falcon Heights suburb of the Minneapolis and St. Paul area.
Yanez said he believed Casfile to be the suspect in an armed robbery, as he allegedly matched the description.
The stop turned deadly after the officer fired in to the car, killing Castile in front of his girlfriend and her child in the back seat.
Soon after, Caatile’s girlfriend would live stream the aftermath of the shooting on Facebook live as Philando lay lifeless beside her.
In November, Yanez was charged with second-degree manslaughter in addition to two felony counts of intentionally discharging a gun. Prosecutors stated that “no reasonable officer” would have resorted to the use of such deadly force.
Deliberations began on Monday, giving jurors a weeks to come to Friday’s unfortunate conclusion.
Following his acquittal, Yanez was also dismissed from the police force.
“The city intends to offer Officer Yanez a voluntary separation agreement to help him transition to another career other than being a St. Anthony officer,” the city said in a statement. “The terms of this agreement will be negotiated in the near future, so details are not available at this time. In the meantime, Officer Yanez will not return to active duty.”
Hundreds of protestors have since flooded the area, specifically at the state capitol in protest of the verdict.
“The system continues to fail black people, and it will continue to fail you all,” Valerie Castile said, her anger building. “My son loved this city and this city killed my son, and the murderer gets away. Are you kidding me right now?”
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