Officer Who Fatally Shot Philando Castile Charged With 2nd-Degree Manslaughter

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Jeronimo Yanez, the police officer who fatally shot Philando Castile during a traffic stop on July 6, has been charged with second-degree manslaughter, Ramsey County Attorney John Choi announced Wednesday.

Choi stated it was his conclusion that the “use of deadly force by Officer Yanez was not justified.” Yanez also faces two felony counts of dangerous discharge of a firearm.

Via the Star Tribune:

Castile, 32, was fatally shot July 6 by St. Anthony police officer Jeronimo Yanez during a traffic stop in Falcon Heights. A video recorded by his girlfriend, showing him bleeding in the car while the officer stood nearby, has been viewed millions of times around the world, and touched off widespread outrage and protests over several years of police killings of black men.

Before Yanez, no officer had been charged in more than 150 police-involved deaths in Minnesota since 2000.

Choi’s office has been reviewing evidence in the shooting since Sept. 28, when the Minnesota Bureau of Criminal Apprehension handed him its findings. Choi said Wednesday he chose to make the decision on charging himself, rather than turning the case over to a grand jury.

In explaining how Yanez’s actions did not meet the legal standard for justified use of deadly force, Choi said “it is not enough… to express subjective fear of death or great bodily harm.”

While I’m glad charges have been filed, I’m very disappointed with second-degree manslaughter. Philando was murdered in cold blood…in front of a child.

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