A jury found a Minnesota police officer not guilty of the fatal shooting of black man Friday afternoon.
The jury, consisting of five women and seven men, decided Officer Jeronimo Yanez not guilty of all charges. Two of the jurors were black.
Jeronimo Yanez was cleared of all manslaughter charges in connection with his July shooting of Philando Castile. Yanez shot Castile seven times, believing Castile was reach for his gun, after he pulled him over for a broken tail light.
Prosecution argued that Yanez was nervous during the exchange and acted too hastily. Castile told Yanez that he had a gun, but “never reached for his gun, let alone put his hand on it,” prosecutor Jeffrey Paulsen said during the trial.
“The problem was Yanez wasn’t listening to him,” prosecutors told the jury.
Defense for Yanez pointed towards Castile’s alleged drug use; an autopsy report revealed Castile had THC in his system at the time of death. Defense claimed Castile’s marijuana habit prevented him from obeying Yanez’s orders.
“None of this would have happened but for Philando Castile,” defense attorney Earl Gray said. “[Yanez] sees the gun and [Castile] doesn’t follow orders. That’s enough to pull your gun out and end the threat.”
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