In this November 2016 photo, Philando Castile's mother Valerie
when her son's killer was charged with manslaughter. (Photo by Stephen Maturen/Getty Images)
Note to my subscribers: No, I'm not hacked lol. This is yet another blog post I'm writing for my journalism class, this time about the verdict of Officer Jeronimo Yanez, who was involved in the shooting of Philando Castile in July 2017. Read below for more information. Let me know your thoughts about the case in the comments below.
News broke of Minnesota police officer Jeronimo Yanez acquitted of all charges from fatally murdering Philando Castile in July 2017. Officer Yanez, an officer for the suburb of St. Anthony, had been charged with second-degree manslaughter and endangering safety by discharging a firearm in the shooting. The verdict was announced after five days of deliberations, and the officer was led quickly out of the courtroom, as were the 12 jurors.
One highlight included Philando Castile’s mother Valerie speaking to New York Times:
“My son loved this city, and this city killed my son. And a murderer gets away. Are you kidding me right now? The system in this country continues to fail black people and will continue to fail us.”
Another highlight is that the case against Officer Yanez is believed to be the first time in Minnesota history that an officer was charged in an on-duty fatal shooting. Officer Yanez testified that he feared Castile reached for his gun in the glove compartment of his car, but Castile’s girlfriend, Diamond Reynolds, said he had merely been reaching for his identification to give the officer.
All of the information stated above is important because it shows both the emotional perspectives of Castile’s family for the verdict, as well as the legal perspective from Yanez and Reynolds. Also, the full altercation between Reynolds, Castile and Officer Yanez was recorded on Reynold’s phone. And yet the case still showed in Officer Yanez’s favor, which is more disappointing for young black people living in America. This gives young black people the insinuation that even though an altercation can be seen on video, it may not matter legally.
Additionally, this unfortunate case not only perpetuates the fear of black families in America, but also the superiority for police officers. Some police officers who have an agenda against innocent, young black men can get away with murdering them because the law is on their side.
The follow-up story will be focused on the aftermath of the verdict of Officer Yanez and the Philando Castile case to spread hope and positivity towards supporters of Black Lives Matter. The peaceful protests are another matter to focus on because they show that there is a better way to affect change against police brutality.