Jerome Yanez, the officer accused in the shooting death of Minnesota motorist Philando Castile, will face second-degree manslaughter charges, Ramsey County Attorney John Choi announced at a news conference on Wednesday morning, The New York Times reports.
Yanez is also charged with two felony counts of dangerous discharge of a firearm, according to the outlet. “It is my conclusion that the use of deadly force by Officer Yanez was not justified and that sufficient facts exist to prove this to be true,” Choi said.
Yanez is expected to turn himself in for a court appearance on Friday afternoon, Choi told reporters.
According to the Minneapolis Star Tribune, Yanez is the first officer to be charged in more than 150 police-involved deaths in Minnesota since 2000.
Castile, 32, and his girlfriend Diamond Reynolds came into contact with Yanez in the Falcon Heights suburb during a July 6 traffic stop. Reynolds captured the deadly encounter on her cell phone and posted it to Facebook. Yanez shot Castile seven times within one minute of pulling his car over. Castile’s shooting death was vivid; the livestream showed his blood-stained shirt as he gasped for breath in his last moments.
On camera, Reynolds calmly explained to Officer Yanez that Castile was reaching for his ID and permit and was in full compliance when he was shot. Choi said dashcam footage corroborated that Castile told Officer Yanez he was reaching for his proof of insurance and also informed him he was in possession of a weapon. When authorities searched Castile’s body they found his driver’s license and gun permit.
Castile’s death set off protests locally and nationwide regarding the shooting deaths of Black men and women, with many calling for police reform.
Choi’s announcement comes a year and a day after the shooting death of Jamar Clark, a 24-year-old unarmed Minnesota man killed during a confrontation with two police officers. The officers were cleared of all charges in the shooting, prompting several protests.
SOURCE: The New York Times, Minneapolis Star Tribune | PHOTO CREDIT: Getty
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