Minnesota jury clears officer in traffic-stop shooting
by Leigh Jones
Posted 6/16/17, 04:47 pm
A jury in St. Paul, Minn., cleared a police officer of manslaughter charges in the shooting death of an African-American man in 2016. After deliberating for 29 hours over five days, jurors also acquitted Jeronimo Yanez of two lesser charges resulting from the traffic stop. Yanez claimed he feared for his life when he shot Philando Castile as he sat in his car. Castile’s girlfriend, sitting in the passenger seat, live-streamed the aftermath on Facebook. Castile had a permit to carry a weapon, and told Yanez during the stop that he had the gun on him. Yanez said he opened fire only after Castile began pulling the weapon from his pants pocket. Prosecutors argued Yanez acted recklessly and had no reason to fear for his life. They also disputed defense claims that Castile was high on marijuana, which might have affected his actions. Castile’s family called his case another instance of racial profiling. Following the verdict, the city of St. Anthony, Minn., announced Yanez would not return to active duty and would receive a “voluntary separation” so he could find another job.
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Leigh lives in Houston with her husband and daughter. She is the news editor for The World and Everything in It and reports on education for WORLD Digital.