Officer Pleads ‘Not Guilty’ for Shooting Philando Castile
Feb 28, 2017 11:19 AM EST
Officer Jeronimo Yanez fatally shot a black motorist last year in Suburban Saint Paul, Minnesota. Yanez from the St. Anthony Police Department entered his plea in three offensive charges, which includes second degree manslaughter.
The officer worked with the St. Anthony Police Department for four years and he is currently on leave. After the July 2016 traffic stop shooting of Philando Castile, Yanez has also been facing two counts of gun charges. The 28 year old officer pleaded not guilty over shooting Castile, when the incident took place Castile was in a car with his girlfriend and a young child, Mail Online reported.
Castile's girlfriend broadcast the aftermath of the July 2016 shooting on social media, projecting the case to a nationwide infamy. The police officers lawyers unsuccessfully attempted to have the case thrown out, they argued that Castile disobeyed police orders and he was the cause of his own death due to allegedly using marijuana before the traffic stop.
According to the Huffington Post, Prosecutors argue that Yanez shot Castile seven times during a July 6 traffic stop after he told the officer he was armed. Castile was 32 years old and a school cafeteria worker.
The Ramsey County District Judge William Leary had set a trial date on May 30 after the Yanez pleaded not guilty for the shooting. The victim had a license to carry a weapon, reports state that Castile and his girlfriend was pulled over because they looked like people involved in a robbery.
According to Yanez's lawyers, the officer feared for his life and had no choice but to pull the trigger on Castile. There had been widespread protests after the shooting as a result of the footage being broadcast online. Castile's in his final words before his death said that he was not reaching for it, if Yanez is convicted he would face 10 years in prison and a $20,000 fine.