Officer acquitted in fatal shooting of Philando Castile

Minnesota police officer Jeronimo Yanez, who fatally shot Philando Castile during a traffic stop in July of previous year, was found not guilty of manslaughter and all other charges related to the case on Friday.

Following a four-month investigation of the fatal officer-involved shooting, Ramsey County Attorney John Choi charged Yanez with manslaughter in the death of Castile, and two counts of unsafe discharge of a firearm for the exposure of Reynolds and her daughter to the gunfire. Yanez was also cleared of lesser counts related to endangering Castile's girlfriend and her daughter for firing his gun into the auto near them.

The evidence included squad auto video, but its wide view didn't capture exactly what happened inside the vehicle - leaving jurors to essentially decide whether they believed Yanez when he said Castile had his hand on the gun. That included several recent cases that ended in mistrials or acquittals when officers testified they feared for their lives, Stinson said. After the verdict was read, Castile's family wept and left the courtroom.

Mr Castile's family claimed he was profiled because of his race, and the shooting renewed concerns about how police officers interact with minorities. She says she's "very disappointed in the system here in the state of Minnesota".

"The system in this country continues to fail black people and will continue to fail us", she said outside the courtroom. "My son loved this city and this city killed my son and the murderer gets away!"

"I said in July when I first stood before you that I believed this case would mark a turning point in this nation". We're not evolving as a civilization.

As the city negotiates the agreement, Yanez will not be going back to his job, the city added. Under the circumstances, just because he's a police officer, that makes it OK. Castile had previously informed Yanez that he had a firearm and was licensed to carry it. Prosecutors questioned whether Yanez had even seen it, and witnesses testified that it was in a pocket of Castile's shorts when paramedics pulled him from the vehicle.

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Defense attorney Earl Gray rubbed the shoulder of Yanez.

Officials appealed for calm, with the mayor of Saint Paul quickly announcing a series of community meetings to discuss the verdict. He testified that he didn't see Castile's gun, but noted that he was paying more attention to the car's passengers. And it's negotiating a voluntary separation agreement with Yanez.

Yanez was found not guilty of all counts in the fatal shooting of Castile after a 12-member jury spent 27 hours deliberating the case over five days.

Choi said the divisions between police and the community must be healed. "It was the product of a fair and impartial investigation, thorough prosecutorial review and a trial by a panel of Ramsey County residents".

"This incident seemed so egregious and avoidable that we hoped that this time, it might be different - that this time, justice might be served", Ifill said.

"Even when the prosecution has gone to great lengths to put on expert testimony and other police officers to show that a reasonable officer on the objective standard would not have perceived that threat", he added, "when the officer gets on the stand and subjectively says, 'I thought my life was in danger, ' it's nearly as if the jury at that point can't process what the prosecution has spent so much time and effort into getting across at the trial". "Because if the government can take your life and no one is held responsible, you are a second-class citizen, if not fully dehumanized in the eyes of the law".

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But Gray said that this approach made sense, and that Yanez had acted reasonably given his training and what he knew that night. It was played repeatedly throughout the trial. "The system continues to fail black people", she said Friday after the verdict.