After 27 hours of deliberation over five days, jurors in the Philando Castile case have finally reached a verdict for the St. Anthony police officer on trial for his murder: not guilty.
Jeronimo Yanez was charged with one count of second-degree manslaughter and two counts of reckless discharge of a firearm after he shot and killed 32-year-old Philando Castile during a traffic stop July 6 in Falcon Heights, MN. Castile’s death received national attention after the Facebook Live video his girlfriend posted showing the aftermath of the shooting went viral.
Lavish (Diamond) Reynolds and her then 4-year-old daughter were in the car when she began filming just moments after Yanez shot Castile in the driver’s seat. Reynolds remained calm and continued to comply with the officer’s orders, referring to him as ‘sir’ and describing the events that had just transpired.
“Ma’am, keep your hands where they are,” he shouted at Reynolds. “I told him not to reach for it! I told him to get his hands up.”
After the verdict was read, Philando’s mother Valerie made a statement to the media, saying, “There has always been a systemic problem in the state of Minnesota, and me thinking, common sense that we would get justice. But nevertheless, the system continues to fail black people. I am so disappointed in the state of Minnesota. My son loved Minnesota. He had one tattoo on his body and it was of the Twin Cities. My son loved this city, and the city killed my son and the murderer gets away.”
Officer Yanez, along with his family, left the courthouse swiftly and quietly and jurors exiting the courthouse also declined to comment.