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Officer Charged In Killing Of Philando Castile

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Jeronimo Yanez, the St. Anthony, Minnesota, police officer alleged to have shot Philando Castile during a July 6 traffic stop in Falcon Heights is facing three criminal charges. Ramsey County Attorney John Choi announced the charges on Nov. 16, citing that the officer was unjustified in the shooting. 

The “use of deadly force by Officer [Jeronimo] Yanez was not justified,” Choi stated at the press conference, reports the Star Tribune. Yanez faces a charge of second-degree manslaughter and two felonies involving his firearm.

“To those of you may say this incident was Philando Castile’s fault, I would submit that no reasonable officer — knowing, seeing and hearing what officer Yanez did at the time — would have used deadly force under these circumstances,” Choi continued. “I have given officer Yanez every benefit of the doubt on his use of deadly force, but I cannot allow the death of a motorist who was lawfully carrying a firearm under these facts and circumstances to go unaccounted for.”

Castile’s death gained national attention when his girlfriend, Diamond Reynolds, who was in the car with Castile at the time of the shooting, filmed the event and posted it to Facebook. 

According to The Washington Post, Castile was pulled over by Officer Yanez at 9:04 p.m. and had fired at Castle within one minute.

“Stay with me,” Reynolds tells Castile as he bleeds to death on camera.

The video was viewed over 3.2 million times within a day of posting, notes CNN.

“We’ve had a number of heartbreaks,” said Jason Sole, president of the Minneapolis NAACP, reports the Star Tribune. “…To have Choi actually give words and … express truth to power, I think that’s all we can ask for right now.”

According to The Washington Post, Yanez faces a possible 20 years in prison and $40,000 in fines.

Sources: Star Tribune, CNN, The Washington Post / Photo credit: Castile family via The Washington Post

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