Trial of Jeronimo Yanez, Police Officer Who Fatally Shot Philando Castile Began Tuesday With Jury Selection

News, Police Brutality, Race and Ethnicity

Jury selection for the the trial of St. Anthony, Minn., Police Officer Jeronimo Yanez began Tuesday. The infamous officer is facing manslaughter charges in the fatal shooting of Philando Castile, whom he killed during a routine traffic stop after thinking Castile fit the description of a robbery suspect.

What followed was seen across the globe in harrowing live streamed footage that went viral on social media which was taped by Castile’s girlfriend who was with him in the car during the incident.

As reported by The Root:

As WCCO notes, Yanez is facing manslaughter charges in Castile’s death. Last summer, on July 6, Yanez pulled over Castile in Falcon Heights, Minn., thinking he matched the description of a robbery suspect. Castile, who was carrying his firearm for which he had a legal permit, informed the officer of his weapon while handing over his license and proof of insurance. Nonetheless, within a minute of pulling Castile over, Yanez shot Castile, fatally wounding him.

Castile was not alone in the car- he was accompanied by his girlfriend and her 4-year-old daughrer who’s lives here also in danger when officer Yanez opened fire into the vehicle. Yanez, did not fire once, but multiple times, for a total of seven shots.

The article continues:

The death of the beloved school cafeteria worker—the aftermath of which was broadcast on Facebook Live—prompted protests and once again spurred public outrage about police use of force.

WCCO reports that Yanez’s defense team will attempt to show that any reasonable officer would have responded the same way in such a situation. Prosecutors will argue that Castile was being compliant when Yanez opened fire and that Yanez acted unreasonably and with negligence.

It seems hard to believe that another officer would react in the same way, if that is truly the case, officers are ill trained in deescalation procedures and all civilians should be scared for their lives. Castile was nothing but compliant, yet he paid with his life due to the incompetence of a poorly trained officer.

Jurors will not get to visit the scene of the shooting. The judge also ruled against allowing the defense team to do any kind of re-enactment that used the actual car in which the shooting occurred.

Have you seen the footage of the shooting? Do you think Yanez reacted appropriately, and that his defence that any other officer would react the same way will pass with a jury?  Or do you think this is a matter or racial profiling gone wrong and poor judgement by incompetent law enforcement that turned deadly?

Join the discussion in the comment section below.

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