Officer who fatally shot black motorist in Minnesota to receive $48,500 buyout

Yanez was found not guilty of manslaughter last month for shooting 32-year-old Castile


News Desk July 11, 2017
People shout slogans against police as they take part in a protest against the killings of Alton Sterling and Philando Castile. PHOTO: AFP

A police officer in Minnesota who was acquitted of fatally shooting black motorist Philando Castile has quit the force after a $48, 500 buyout, the Associated Press reported.

Jeronimo Yanez, was an officer with the St Anthony Police Department, when he shot Castile five times during a traffic stop in July 2016. He was found not guilty last month of second-degree manslaughter. The death of Castile, 32, drew national attention as it occurred during a wave of high-profile police killings of black men. The incidents sparked street protests in cities across the United States accusing police of using excessive force against blacks.

The money will be paid to Yanez  in lump sum, minus state and federal taxes. According to a five-page separation agreement released through a public records request, Yanez will also be paid for accured and unused personal leave for up to 600 hours by the Minneapolis suburb of St Anthony.

According to AP, the 29-year-old's annual salary at the time of the incident was more than US$72, 600 excluding overtime pay.

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Yanez was found not guilty of manslaughter last month for shooting the 32-year-old Castile during a traffic stop last year, after the driver informed the officer that he was carrying a gun for which he had a legal permit.

The death of Philando Castile - one in a series of high-profile shootings of African-Americans by police - stunned the nation. His girlfriend Diamond Reynolds took to Facebook to livestream his agony as blood spread on Castile's shirt and the officer continued to yell orders with his gun drawn.

His family's $2.995 million settlement with St Anthony, a suburb of the state capital St Paul, avoided a federal civil rights lawsuit.
Following Yanez's acquittal, St Anthony said it would no longer employ him as a police officer.

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He was not terminated or convicted of any crime. But he agreed to end his employment voluntarily, the city said. "A reasonable voluntary separation agreement brings to a close one part of this horrible tragedy," the city of St Anthony said in a statement. "The city concluded this was the most thoughtful way to move forward and help the community-wide healing process proceed."

The verdict sparked widespread protests in Minnesota, one of various US states where prosecutors have failed to secure convictions when police officers have fatally shot African Americans, even when there is video evidence of the shooting

 

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