Minnesota officer acquitted in shooting of Philando Castile

ST. PAUL, Minn. (AP) — Family members of a black motorist shot dead by a Minnesota police officer last year reacted angrily to the officer being found innocent of manslaughter.

Officer Jeronimo Yanez was cleared of that charge and two lesser ones Friday in the death of 32-year-old Philando Castile. Yanez shot Castile five times during a traffic stop last July in a St. Paul suburb, seconds after Castile informed him he was carrying a gun.

Castile’s mother, Valerie, stood and swore when the jury’s verdict was read in St. Paul. His sister and others sobbed loudly. Family members immediately tried to leave the courtroom, and did so after security officers briefly barred their way.

3 p.m.

A Minnesota police officer has been acquitted of manslaughter in the fatal shooting of a black motorist.

Jeronimo (yeh-RON’-ih-moh) Yanez was also cleared Friday of two lesser charges in the July traffic stop in a St. Paul suburb. Yanez shot Philando Castile five times just seconds after Castile informed him he was carrying a gun.

Yanez testified that Castile was pulling his gun out of his pocket despite his commands not to do so. The defense also argued Castile was high on marijuana and said that affected his actions.

Castile had a permit for the weapon. Prosecutors questioned whether Yanez ever saw the gun. They argued that the officer overreacted and that Castile was not a threat.

The case garnered immediate attention because Castile’s girlfriend streamed the aftermath live on Facebook.

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2:15 p.m.

A Minnesota jury has reached a verdict in the trial of a police officer charged with manslaughter in the death of a black motorist.

Ramsey County court officials say the verdict will be read around 2:45 p.m. Central time.

Officer Jeronimo (yeh-RON’-ih-moh) Yanez is charged in the death of 32-year-old Philando Castile.

Yanez pulled Castile over for a broken taillight July 6 in a St. Paul suburb. He shot Castile seconds later, after Castile informed him he was carrying a gun.

The shooting drew widespread attention and condemnation in part because Castile’s girlfriend streamed the gruesome aftermath of the shooting live on Facebook.

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1:35 p.m.

Defense attorneys for a Minnesota police officer charged with manslaughter in the death of a black motorist say the jury won’t deliberate over the weekend if they can’t reach a verdict Friday.

Officer Jeronimo (yeh-RON’-ih-moh) Yanez is charged in the July 6 death of Philando Castile. The 32-year-old school cafeteria worker was shot seconds after he informed Yanez he was carrying a gun.

Attorney Earl Gray told reporters after meeting with the judge Friday afternoon that the jury would be discharged until Monday if they don’t agree by day’s end.

A court spokeswoman didn’t immediately respond to a message seeking comment.

Yanez testified that Castile disregarded his orders not to pull out his gun. Prosecutors say the 29-year-old Latino officer overreacted.

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10 a.m.

Jurors considering the fate of a Minnesota police officer who killed a black motorist opened their fifth day of deliberations by asking to have the officer’s entire testimony re-read to them.

Judge William Leary told jurors Friday that he was denying the request. He said the reasons were unimportant, and he sent them back to work.

Officer Jeronimo Yanez is charged with manslaughter in the death of Philando Castile. Yanez shot Castile during a traffic stop in a St. Paul suburb after Castile informed the officer he was carrying a gun. Castile had a permit for the firearm.

Yanez has testified that Castile ignored his commands not to pull out the gun and he feared for his life. Prosecutors argue he overreacted to a man who wasn’t a threat.

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12:05 a.m.

Jurors weighing the fate of a Minnesota police officer who killed a black motorist last July are headed into their fifth day of deliberations.

Officer Jeronimo (yeh-RON’-ih-moh) Yanez is charged with manslaughter in the death of Philando Castile. Yanez shot Castile during a traffic stop in a St. Paul suburb after Castile informed the officer he was carrying a gun. Castile had a permit for the firearm.

Deliberations resume Friday morning.

On Wednesday, the apparently deadlocked jury was summoned to court by the judge and told to keep deliberating. Thursday’s deliberations passed quietly.

Yanez testified Castile was pulling the gun out against his instructions and he feared for his life. Prosecutors insist Yanez never saw a gun and had plenty of options short of shooting Castile.

FILE - In this July 25, 2016, file photo, a memorial including a photo of Philando Castile adorns the gate to the governor’s residence in St. Paul, Minn., protesting the July 6, 2016 shooting death of Castile by St. Anthony police officer Jeronimo Yanez. Closing arguments began Monday, June 12, 2017 in in a Yanez’ manslaughter trial in the fatal shooting of Castile.(AP Photo/Jim Mone, File
FILE – In this July 25, 2016, file photo, a memorial including a photo of Philando Castile adorns the gate to the governor’s residence in St. Paul, Minn., protesting the July 6, 2016 shooting death of Castile by St. Anthony police officer Jeronimo Yanez. Closing arguments began Monday, June 12, 2017 in in a Yanez’ manslaughter trial in the fatal shooting of Castile.(AP Photo/Jim Mone, File

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