A police officer has been declared not guilty of manslaughter after a Facebook live stream captured the moment he opened fire and shot dead a black motorist.
Cop Jeronimo Yanez shot Philando Castile, 32, during a traffic stop in Minnesota last July when he pulled him over for a broken brake violation. Castile’s girlfriend who was riding with him at that time broadcast the immediate aftermath of the shooting. The video shows her declaring that her boyfriend had been killed.
Castile’s family is visibly upset and angry over the verdict that came out on Friday. Castile’s mother, Valerie, said of Yanez: “He will have to face his creator… I hope he dies tonight.”
The decision found that Yanez was reasonable in fearing in shooting Castile as he thought his life was put in danger. Castile told Yanez at that time that he was carrying a gun and reached to his glovebox. Castile’s girlfriend said that Castile was actually reaching for his wallet, and not his gun. Yanez acted swiftly as he feared for his life and shot Castile seven times.
Valerie Castile walked out of the court after the not guilty verdict. She later shared her grievance to reporters. She said: “The system continues to fail black people, and it will continue to fail you all.” The mother did not stop there and gave this ‘warning’ to fellow black people: “Like I said, because this happened with Philando, and when they get done with us, they are coming for you and all your interracial children.”
Yanez was cleared of criminal charges, but was still relieved of his duties. Other people, and the black community, joined the Castile family’s protests about the verdict. Minnesota governor Mark Dayton gave his condolences to the family and promised to do all he can to help the state heal.