Castile family expresses grief, outrage at verdict

Philando Castile               CBS Minnesota

Yanez pulled Castile over because he believed he matched the description of a suspect in a recent robbery, according to reports.

The defense argued Castile was unable to heed the officer's instructions because he was allegedly under the influence of marijuana.

The shooting was one of a few late a year ago that brought to light perceived civil rights violations in the African American community. On Friday, the officer who killed Castile was acquitted.

Other officers soon arrived, and Yanez is heard cursing and saying he told Castile to stop.

During the two-week trial, prosecutors argued that Yanez was a nervous officer who lost control of his traffic stop.

July 7: Protesters converge overnight at Democratic Gov. Mark Dayton's official residence in the state capital of St. Paul. Reynolds testified in court that Castile was reaching for his driver's license, and had informed Yanez of this prior to his shooting.

The Facebook video that Reynolds shot captured the dying Castile insisting that he hadn't been reaching for his handgun.

Yanez and his partner, Officer Joseph Kauser, worked for the St. Anthony Police Department, another city in the area.




The shooting took place during a traffic stop in a St. Paul suburb in July 2016. Yanez's voice choked with emotion as he talked of being "scared to death" and thinking of his wife and baby daughter in the split-second before he fired.

Yanez proceeded to tell him not to reach for it, to which Castile replied that he wasn't.

Ploussard said the jury was split 10-2 early this week in favor of acquittal for Officer Jeronimo Yanez, who was charged in the death of 32-year-old Philando Castile.

Castile's mother Valerie gave a blistering statement after the verdict was announced, declaring that "this city killed my son".

"I will continue to say murder", she said. Castile's girlfriend, Diamond Reynolds, is a passenger in the vehicle, along with her then-4-year-old daughter. "I have given Officer Yanez every benefit of the doubt on his use of deadly force, but I can not allow the death of a motorist who was lawfully carrying a firearm under these facts and circumstances to go unaccounted for". But defence attorneys called their own witnesses to back up Mr Yanez's claim that he saw Mr Castile pulling the gun and that Mr Yanez was right to shoot.

Yanez testified that his fear stemmed from learning Castile had a gun. Castile's death, like Sterling's, set off protests across the country.

"As hard as this is for some members of our community, we have to accept this verdict, it was the product of a fair and impartial investigation, thorough prosecution review, and a trial by a jury of Ramsey County residents", said Choi, who spoke solemnly and haltingly.

On Friday, the Minnesota cop who fatally shot Philando Castile was acquitted of all charges, according to The New York Times.

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