Yet again, no justice will be handed down for another black man killed by police.
The police officer who opened fire on Philando Castile while he was attempting to abide by the law with his girlfriend and a young child in the car has been cleared of all charges by a Minnesota jury.
St. Anthony police officer Jeronimo Yanez was charged with two counts of reckless discharge of a firearm, as well as second-degree manslaughter for the death of Castile. Both charges have now been cleared.
The jury arrived at their verdict after 27 hours of deliberation over five days.
Castile was driving with his girlfriend and a young child when he was pulled over by police for a busted taillight, a routine traffic stop that should have gone smoothly and resulted in a warning or a minor citation at most. Instead, Castile lost his life.
Later, Police audio revealed that Castile was pulled over for being black, and the tail light outage was merely an excuse.
During the stop, Castile told police that he was a lawful gun carrier and had the gun and his permit on his person. The officer then told Castile to retrieve his ID and registration. When Castile reached for his wallet in his back pocket, the officer fired on the man multiple times.
Unlike the countless traffic stops and police shootings that rely on police accounts alone, Castile’s girlfriend utilized her cell phone and Facebook Live video recording in order to capture the violent aftermath of the shooting, pleading with viewers to pray for her boyfriend and begging God to keep him alive.
You can read the full transcript of that livestream here.
In it, Castile’s girlfriend Lavish Reynolds explains what happened and begs officers to give her information about the well-being of her boyfriend.
“Please don’t tell me this Lord please Jesus don’t tell me that he’s gone. Please don’t tell me that he’s gone. Please officer, don’t tell me that you just did this to him. You shot four bullets into him, sir. He was just getting his license and registration, sir.”
When charges were brought against Yanez, it seemed that some justice might be handed down. In the wake of Yanez’s charges, Ransey County Attorney John Choi said that “no reasonable officer, knowing, seeing, and hearing what officer Yanez did at the time would have used deadly force under these circumstances.”
Yanez argued during his trial that he was fearful for his life, prompting the discharge of his firearm.
“I thought I was going to die. I had no other choice. I was forced to engage Mr. Castile. He was not complying with my directions.”
When asked if he wanted to shoot his victim, Yanez replied in the negative.
“I did not want to shoot Mr. Castile at all.Those were not my intentions.”
Still with so much evidence, eyewitnesses, and condemnation from those close to the story, Yanez is a free man today. Another family is left without justice.