Officer Jeronimo Yanez, the St. Anthony police officer who fatally shot Philando Castile in an event broadcast live on Facebook, escaped all criminal charges resulting from the death, the Star Tribune reported Friday.
Yanez was found not guilty of second-degree manslaughter and two counts of reckless discharge of a firearm.
Following the verdict, Castile’s family “angrily stormed out” of the courtroom, foretelling the angst others would share as news of the verdict spread across the country.
“There has always been a systemic problem in the state of Minnesota, and me thinking, common sense that we would get justice. But nevertheless the system continues to fail black people,” Castille’s mother, Valerie Castile said. “I am so disappointed in the state of Minnesota. My son loved Minnesota. He had one tattoo on his body and it was of the Twin Cities. My son loved this city, and the city killed my son and the murderer gets away.”
Castile, who was known by friends as Phil, was a cafeteria supervisor at J.J. Hill Montessori Magnet School in Saint Paul, Minn., where he memorized the names of the 500 children he served every day — along with their food allergies, his former coworker said. He was considered a role model to hundreds of Kids, colleagues and parents say.
Within minutes of the verdict being announced the internet responded with #PhilandoCastile trending nationwide on Twitter.
It will only get worse under Sessions/Trump's.
— Tracy McQueenie (@chesse47) June 16, 2017
Disgusting that an officer can point blank shoot an African American man for absolutely no reason and get away with it #PhilandoCastile
— Jordan (@JordanChariton) June 16, 2017
— Samuel Sinyangwe (@samswey) June 16, 2017
— Star Tribune (@StarTribune) June 16, 2017
Castile was NOT a criminal…NOT engaged in any criminal behavior… rogue cop fired into a car with a TODDLER inside..still not convicted
— Kevin D (@freekev22) June 16, 2017
— Mami Wata (@ItsJaLisa) June 16, 2017
Perhaps the most tragic thing about the acquittal of the officer who killed #PhilandoCastile is that no one is surprised.
— Nick Jack Pappas (@Pappiness) June 16, 2017
— Shaun King (@ShaunKing) June 16, 2017
Prosecutors argued that Yanez racially profiled Castile, a black man, when he stopped him for a nonworking brake light. Yanez testified that he also wanted to investigate whether Castile was a suspect in the armed robbery of a nearby convenience store four days earlier. Castile was never connected to the robbery.