The horrid killing of Philando Castile has been burned and etched into our memories, when Facebook Live video erupted of a bloody and dying Castile with his girlfriend Diamond Reynolds’ bloodcurdling scream in the background. As you may recall, Minnesota police officer Jeronimo Yanez pulled over the 32-year-old public school nutrition worker for a broken brake light in July of 2016. A swift minute after pulling him over, he fatally shot Castile an inordinate seven times.
SEVEN. While he was in a car, simply reaching for his wallet and ID.
Well, Yanez got off. He was found not guilty, per Buzzfeed.
"He let the officer know that he had a firearm and he was reaching for his wallet and the officer just shot him in his arm," Reynolds reported as a direct witness via livestream, so that there was no question as to what happened from her perspective.
However, Earl Gray, Yanez’s attorney claims that his client “did what he had to do.”
Of course, during the trial Castile’s irrelevant prior convenience store robbery came up via the defense, who also claimed that Castile was under the influence of marijuana and ignored officer’s orders, reaching for a gun. "None of this would have happened but for Philando Castile," Gray exclaimed in a quote via the Star Tribune. "[Yanez] sees the gun and [Castile] doesn't follow orders. That's enough to pull your gun out and end the threat."
Jeff Paulsen from the prosecution team disputed the defense’s claims, noting that Yanez never saw Castile’s gun. In fact, according to the Associated Press, Paulsen asked the jury of 5 women and 7 men that had Yanez properly assessed the situation instead of jumping to fatal conclusions, he would’ve heard Castile say out loud that he was reaching for his wallet.
“If he had done that, everybody would have gone home safely that night,” Paulsen said.
Excuse me while I go tear my hair out.