Minnesota police offcer Jeronimo Yanez has been cleared of all charges in the shooting death of Philando Castile. The case received nationwide attention when Castile’s girlfriend streamed the aftermath of the shooting on Facebook Live.
Castile’s family was visibly upset over the verdict on Friday. Yanez has been acquitted, yet the city of St. Anthony has announced plans to remove this officer from his duties in law enforcement. Yanez was charged with manslaughter in the death of Castile.
Philando Castile was a 32-year-old cafeteria worker. He was pulled over by Officer Yanez on July 7th in a routine traffic stop. Castile reported that he had a gun to the officer, and within seconds, he was dead. Castile had a permit for that firearm.
“The fact in this matter is that my son was murdered, and I’ll continue to say murdered, because where in this planet (can you) tell the truth, and you be honest, and you still be murdered by the police of Minnesota,” said the victim’s mother, Valerie Castile. “Sir, I have to tell you, I do have a firearm on me.”
“There has always been a systemic problem in the state of Minnesota, and me thinking, common sense that we would get justice. But nevertheless the system continues to fail black people,” She said. “I am so disappointed in the state of Minnesota. My son loved Minnesota. He had one tattoo on his body and it was of the Twin Cities. My son loved this city, and the city killed my son and the murderer gets away.”
“He didn’t deserve to die the way he did,” Philando Castile’s sister, Allysza, said, through tears. “I will never have faith in the system.”
St. Anthony said officials had determined that “the public will be best served” if Yanez is relieved of his duties in law enforcement.
It took jurors 29 hours over the span of five days to deliberate on this case. Prosecutors argued their case, claiming that Yanez overreacted and that Castile was not a threat. Yanez testified that Castile was pulling his gun out of his pocket despite the officer’s directions not to do so. The defense also said that Castile was high on marijuana at the time of the shooting, which affected his judgment.