Police Officer Found Not Guilty In Shooting Death of Philando Castile


ST. PAUL, Minn. (AP):  A Minnesota police officer has been acquitted of manslaughter in the fatal shooting of a black motorist.

Jeronimo Yanez was also cleared Friday of two lesser charges in the July traffic stop in a St. Paul suburb. Yanez shot Philando Castile five times just seconds after Castile informed him he was carrying a gun.

Yanez 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.

Castile had a permit for the weapon. Prosecutors questioned whether Yanez ever saw the gun. They argued that the officer overreacted and that Castile was not a threat.

The case garnered immediate attention because Castile’s girlfriend streamed the aftermath live on Facebook.

Castile’s mother says the officer got away with “murder.”

Valerie Castile spoke angrily after the verdict was read, and called her son’s death murder. She pointed out her son was wearing a seatbelt and had his girlfriend and her daughter in the car. She says she’s “very disappointed in the system here in the state of Minnesota.”

The jury deliberated five days before reaching its verdict.

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