The police officer who shot and killed Philando Castile during a traffic stop in July has been charged with manslaughter.
NPR reports that Officer Jeronimo Yanez has been charged with second-degree manslaughter for his role in the shooting death of the Castile. As the disturbing Facebook video footage reminds us, Castile was shot while sitting in his car handing over paperwork during a traffic stop.
Dashcam footage taken from Yanez’ patrol car showed that Castile never posed a threat during the stop. He went out of his way to inform Yanez that he had a firearm in the car and that he was legally allowed to have it. When he began reaching to hand him his driver’s license and registration, Yanez opened fire, hitting Castile seven times. All of this happened within one minute of Castile being pulled over.
The dashcam footage captured Castile’s last words saying, “I wasn’t reaching for it.”
“Philando Castile was not resisting or fleeing,” Ramsey County Attorney John Choi said at a press conference. “There was absolutely no criminal intent exhibited by him throughout this encounter. He was respectful and compliant. He volunteered in good faith that he had a firearm beyond what the law requires.”
Yanez is also being charged with two counts of “dangerous discharge of a firearm” for shooting in the car while Castile’s girlfriend, Diamond Reynolds and her 4-year old daughter were also in the car.
If convicted, Yanez faces up to 10 years in prison and a $20,000 fine.