Mercoledì, 22 Agosto, 2018

Another day without a verdict in Philando Castile case

Parmenio Sano | 17 Giugno, 2017, 04:28

Officer Jeronimo Yanez shot 32-year-old Philando Castile during a traffic stop last July 6 in a St. Paul suburb.

A Minnesota police officer was acquitted on Friday in the slaying of a black motorist he shot five times during a traffic stop previous year, in an incident that drew national attention after the victim's girlfriend live-streamed the bloody aftermath on social media.

Yanez is no longer a police officer with the St. Anthony Police Department, the city announced on Friday.

Yanez's lawyers alleged Castile had been smoking marijuana the day of the shooting, which they said affected his judgment.

Squad-car video played for the jury shows a wide view of the traffic stop and the shooting, with the camera pointed toward Castile's auto. "It was very, very hard", Ploussard said, adding that he thought the jury delivered the right verdict. They spent a lot of time dissecting the "culpable negligence" requirement for conviction, and the last two holdouts eventually agreed Friday on acquittal. Yanez said he pulled Castile over because of a broken tail light on his vehicle, but radio transmissions later revealed that the officer thought Castile resembled a suspect in the robbery of the Super USA convenience store just days earlier. "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".

At one of these protests taking place a day after Castile was shot, a lone attacker in Dallas opened fire on police officers, killing five and wounding several others in the deadliest single day for law enforcement since the September 11, 2001 attacks. And later that month a jury acquitted a white Oklahoma police officer, Betty Shelby, in the shooting death of an unarmed black man named Terence Crutcher; a jury in Columbus, Ohio, declined to indict a white police officer who fatally shot a black 13-year-old boy who was playing with a BB gun.

Earl Gray, an attorney for Yanez, welcomed the decision. I was forced to engage Mr. Castile.


Unlike the countless traffic stops and police shootings that rely on police accounts alone, Castile's girlfriend utilized her cell phone and Facebook Live video recording in order to capture the violent aftermath of the shooting, pleading with viewers to pray for her boyfriend and begging God to keep him alive. "He let the officer know that he had a firearm and that he was reaching for his wallet, and the officer just shot him in his arm".

The video shows that, in the moments before Castile died, a calm Reynolds tells him "stay with me", and then explains they had been pulled over for a broken tail light.

Prosecutors also argued Yanez had other reasonable options, including ordering Castile to put his hands on the steering wheel. Twin City News reports that Yanez was the first law enforcement officer in recent Minnesota history, to be incriminated in an on-duty homicide. There is an exchange of words, before Yanez yells, "Don't pull it out!" and shoots Castile five times.

"You can't blame Castile for Yanez not following his own training", Prosecutor Jeff Paulsen said in his closing argument.

Judge William Leary told jurors Friday that he was denying the request.

Castile's fully loaded gun was found in his shorts pocket, Ramsey County prosecutors said. Jurors also appeared in open court Tuesday morning after giving a note to the judge's clerk saying they wanted to review some of the evidence again.

Castile responded, "I was reaching", but before he finished, Yanez, with right hand on his holster, said, "Don't pull it out".

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