Police Officer Jeronimo Yanez Found Not Guilty in Shooting Death of Philando Castile

The aftermath of the shooting was streamed live on Facebook.

Demonstrators protest the police shooting death of Philando Castile.Fibonacci Blue/Flickr

Let our journalists help you make sense of the noise: Subscribe to the Mother Jones Daily newsletter and get a recap of news that matters.

A Minnesota police officer who shot and killed a man during a traffic stop last July was found not guilty of second-degree manslaughter on Friday. The jury also acquitted the St. Anthony police officer, Jeronimo Yanez, of two counts of intentional discharge of a firearm in the death of 32-year-old Philando Castile. Jurors reached their verdict following 29 hours of deliberation, after originally telling the judge that they were deadlocked on all charges. 

Castile’s death made national headlines last summer after his girlfriend broadcast the aftermath of the shooting on Facebook Live. Yanez had pulled over Castile because he incorrectly suspected he may have been a robbery suspect. Castile was legally armed and informed the officer of that fact when he reached for his identification. Prosecutors argued that Yanez then hastily shot Castile after Castile reached for his identification. Attorneys for Yanez said the officer shot Castile after Yanez told him not to reach for his gun and Castile did so anyway.

Castile’s mother reportedly stormed out of the courtroom when the verdict was read. She slammed the verdict in comments to press outside the courthouse:

Castile’s shooting last July followed the shooting by police of Alton Sterling in Baton Rouge, Louisiana, earlier that same week. The men’s death touched off a new wave of Black Lives Matter protests across the nation. The day after Castile’s death, five police officers were shot at a Black Lives Matter protest in Dallas. The shooter, Micah Johnson, said he acted in retaliation for killings of black men by police officers, police officials said. Johnson was subsequently killed by police.

SIX TRUTHS

Reclaiming power from those who abuse it often starts with telling the truth. And in "This Is How Authoritarians Get Defeated," MoJo's Monika Bauerlein unpacks six truths to remember during the homestretch of an election where democracy, truth, and decency are on the line.

Truth #1: The chaos is the point.

Truth #2: Team Reality is bigger than it seems.

Truth #3: Facebook owns this.

Truth #4: When we go to work, we're in the fight.

Truth #5: It's about minority rule.

Truth #6: The only thing that can save us is…us.

Please take a moment to see how all these truths add up, because what happens in the weeks and months ahead will reverberate for at least a generation and we better be prepared.

And if you think journalism like Mother Jones'—that calls it like it is, that will never acquiesce to power, that looks where others don't—can help guide us through this historic, high-stakes moment, and you're able to right now, please help us reach our $350,000 goal by October 31 with a donation today. It's all hands on deck for democracy.

payment methods

SIX TRUTHS

Reclaiming power from those who abuse it often starts with telling the truth. And in "This Is How Authoritarians Get Defeated," MoJo's Monika Bauerlein unpacks six truths to remember during the homestretch of an election where democracy, truth, and decency are on the line.

Truth #1: The chaos is the point.

Truth #2: Team Reality is bigger than it seems.

Truth #3: Facebook owns this.

Truth #4: When we go to work, we're in the fight.

Truth #5: It's about minority rule.

Truth #6: The only thing that can save us is…us.

Please take a moment to see how all these truths add up, because what happens in the weeks and months ahead will reverberate for at least a generation and we better be prepared.

And if you think journalism like Mother Jones'—that calls it like it is, that will never acquiesce to power, that looks where others don't—can help guide us through this historic, high-stakes moment, and you're able to right now, please help us reach our $350,000 goal by October 31 with a donation today. It's all hands on deck for democracy.

payment methods

We Recommend

Latest

Sign up for our free newsletter

Subscribe to the Mother Jones Daily to have our top stories delivered directly to your inbox.

Get our award-winning magazine

Save big on a full year of investigations, ideas, and insights.

Subscribe

Support our journalism

Help Mother Jones' reporters dig deep with a tax-deductible donation.

Donate