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Another police shooting acquittal worries black gun owners

Another police shooting acquittal worries black gun owners

Jurors received the case Monday afternoon after attorneys for the prosecution and defense finished their closing arguments.

Yanez stared ahead with no reaction as the verdict was read. Like many who expressed alarm at the verdict, they were critical of the makeup of the jury: eight men (one black) and four women (also one black). Jeronimo Yanez, 29, was found not guilty of all three charges he faced in the death of 32-year-old Philando Castile: Second-degree manslaughter and two felony counts of intentional discharge of a risky weapon for endangering the safety of Castile's girlfriend, Diamond Reynolds, and her four-year-old daughter. They spent a lot of time dissecting the Ā“culpable negligenceĀ” requirement for conviction, and the last two holdouts eventually agreed Friday on acquittal. "I don't know how to do that", he said. Castile was said to have told Yanez he was armed and had a permit to carry.

As Castile's mother, Valerie Castile, said after the verdict was announced, "The system continues to fail black people, and it will continue to fail you all". "This is my license, ' they automatically are reaching for their gun thinking you're going to draw your gun on them, once again not realizing you're a good guy", said Martin, who lives in Glenside, Pennsylvania. "This time we had a young man who had no criminal record", she said.

A Minnesota police officer was acquitted Friday in the shooting of a black motorist whose dying moments were captured on Facebook video in a case that shocked the nation. Prosecutors argued that Yanez had overreacted and that Castile, a school cafeteria worker, was not a threat.

The acquittal of a Minnesota officer in the death of a licensed gun owner who volunteered that he had a gun seconds before being fatally shot during a traffic stop adds to the worries of African-American gun owners about how they are treated by police and society.




The trial included squad-car video of the traffic stop, but the wide view did not show exactly what took place inside Castile's vehicle, leaving jurors largely in the position of whether to believe the officer's testimony.

Yanez, who is Latino, pulled Castile over for a broken tail light July 6 in Falcon Heights, after alerting his police partner in another squad auto that Castile resembled one of the suspects in a recent armed robbery, due to his "wide-set nose". Castile appears to give something to Yanez through the driver's side window.

"He was trying to get out his ID and his wallet out of his pocket", Reynolds says.

Yanez said he feared for his safety and thought Castile was reaching for the gun.

"The community is deeply disappointed with the jury's verdict in the trial of Jeronimo Yanez for the death of Philando Castile and endangerment of Diamond and Dae'Anna Reynolds", said a press release from Communities United Against Police Brutality and the Twin Cities Coalition for Justice 4 Jamar, organizations that planned the event.


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