A Minnesota police officer was acquitted of manslaughter Friday in the fatal shooting of Philando Castile, a black motorist whose girlfriend streamed the aftermath live on Facebook.
Jeronimo Yanez was also cleared of two lesser charges in the July traffic stop in a St. Paul suburb, drawing an emotional reaction from Castile family members who stormed out of the courtroom.
"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," his mother, Valerie Castile said, referring to the fact that her son was shot seconds after he volunteered to the officer, "Sir, I have to tell you, I do have a firearm on me."
"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."
Supporters of the family planned a 7 p.m. CDT rally at the Capitol. Meanwhile, the city of St. Anthony swiftly announced plans to dismiss Yanez, saying it had concluded "the public will be best served" if he left the department.
Jurors deliberated for about 29 hours over five days before reaching the verdict in the death of Castile, who had a permit for the weapon. Prosecutors argued that Yanez had overreacted and that Castile, a school cafeteria worker, was not a threat.
Yanez, who is Latino, testified that Castile was pulling his gun out of his pocket despite his commands not to do so. The defense also argued Castile was high on marijuana and said that affected his actions.
Sorry we couldn't complete your registration. Please try again.
You must accept the Terms and conditions to register