Officer Involved In Death Of Philando Castile Charged With Manslaughter

Minnesota officer Jeronimo Yanez was given three criminal charges Wednesday (Nov. 16) for his role in the wrongful death of Philando Castile.

READ Philando Castile’s Former High School Raises Over $30K For A Scholarship In His Honor

The Star Tribune reports Ramsey County Attorney John Choi announced the charges this afternoon during a press conference with uncovered details on their three-month investigation into the case. Officer Yanez was charged with second-degree manslaughter and two felony counts of dangerous discharge of a firearm. Choi said Yanez’s justified use of deadly force claim was not met. “It is my conclusion that the use of deadly force by Officer Yanez was not justified and that sufficient facts exist to prove this to be true,” he said.

Castile, father and employee at a Saint Paul Public School, was shot a reported seven times on July 6 by Officer Yanez during a traffic stop. The aftermath of the shooting was filmed by Castile’s girlfriend Lavish “Diamond” Reynolds on Facebook Live, which was seen by millions. The shooting along with the death of Alton Sterling in the same week sparked protests across the country.

By looking over Officer Yanez’s dash and body camera footage, Choi says Castile was “calm courteous, respectful, calm, and careful” during the traffic stop. Castile was shot within one minute of his encounter with the officer. Prosecutors claimed Yanez stopped Castile over suspicions he was involved in a robbery the night before, despite his initial claim he stopped the couple for a broken taillight. Castile was in fact not involved in any crime the night before. Castile calmly informed the officer of his concealed carry permit, which was found in his pocket at the time of his death.

Yanez is the first officer to be charged in police-related shootings in Minnesota since 2000. The police related shooting of Jamar Clark was used as guidance in the case.

READ Minnesota Police Chief Speaks Out In Defense Of Officer Who Fatally Shot Philando Castile