Minnesota officer charged in Castile shooting goes on trial

Minnesota officer charged in Castile shooting goes on trial

Minnesota officer charged in Castile shooting goes on trial

May 30 Jury selection is scheduled to begin on Tuesday in the trial of a Minnesota police officer charged with fatally shooting a black motorist, an incident that sparked outrage when the moments that followed were broadcast widely on social media.

The graphic video showing Philando Castile's final moments after he was shot by a Minnesota police officer made headlines almost a year ago and led to calls for changes in policing.

Anthony Police Officer Jeronimo Yanez, 29, with one count of second-degree manslaughter and two counts of risky discharge of a firearm in November. St. Anthony Officer Jeronimo Yanez is on trial for second-degree manslaughter in the death of Philando Castile during a traffic stop in the St. Paul suburb of Falcon Heights last July.

Yanez said he had reason to pull over the auto because Castile looked like a suspect in a convenience store robbery that took place in the area four days earlier, court documents said.

Castile and Reynolds insisted he wasn't reaching for his gun.

"One kind of juror says, 'Even if [Castile] disobeyed the officer's command to stop reaching. does he have to die for that?' " said Frase, the U law professor.

But Judge Leary denied the motion weeks later and made a decision to keep the trial in St. Paul, finding that Yanez failed to show that there is a "reasonable likelihood" a trial in Ramsey County would be unfair.

"It's harder for the jury to find [Yanez] guilty if they know that the police officer knew that [Castile] had a gun", Daly said, "because guns are unsafe. I would rather be defending him than prosecuting him based on what I know and what I've read".

At the time of his death, Castile was a 32-year-old cafeteria worker at the J.J.Hill Montessori Magnet School in St. Paul. Officers and medics rendering aid to Castile later removed the gun from his right front shorts pocket.

Jurors acquitted white Tulsa, Oklahoma, police officer Betty Jo Shelby of manslaughter on May 17 after she testified that she fatally shot Terence Crutcher, an unarmed, black 40-year-old, out of fear when he didn't obey her commands. The defense is arguing it's important information because Yanez claims the scent of marijuana was detected in the auto that night. But, most often, when officers were convicted for killing someone while on duty, they served no prison time. As Castile began to retrieve his identification, he told Yanez he was reaching for his ID and not his weapon. She faced some of the same concerns Yanez's attorneys have expressed about the ability to find impartial jurors as they attempted to move the trial out of the metro. "I wouldn't want to be a juror". A retrial in the case started last week.

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