The use of force was not justified for the Minnesota officer who shot and killed Philando Castile, a black motorist whose final moments were captured on Facebook live, over the summer, the Ramsey County Attorney’s Office announced Wednesday.
St. Anthony police officer Jeronimo Yanez will be charged with second degree manslaughter and dangerous discharge of a firearm, said Ramsey County Attorney John Choi during a press conference
“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,” Choi said.
He added Castile exhibited no criminal intent throughout the traffic stop and called him respectful and compliant.
Yanez opened fire after the 32-year-old legal concealed carry permit holder informed the officer that he had a firearm and he attempted to remove his ID.
“(Castile) volunteered in good faith that he had a firearm beyond what the law requires. He emphatically stated that he wasn’t pulling it out. His movement was restricted by his own seatbelt,” Choi said.
“In fact, his dying words were in protest that he wasn’t reaching for his gun,” Choi said and added “there simply was no objective threat” posed to the officer or anyone in the car.
“The mere mention or presence of a firearm alone cannot justify the use of deadly force,” Choi said.
The July 6 incident gained national attention because Castile’s girlfriend filmed the scene. She expressed outrage and pleaded as the officer kept his pistol trained on Castile as he bled in the passenger seat of the car.