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State Capitol Demonstration Planned After Yanez-Castile Verdict

14 June 2017, 05:40 | Silvia Roy

The case against St. Anthony police officer Jeronimo Yanez went to the jury for deliberation Monday afternoon.

Yanez, who is Latino, is charged with second-degree manslaughter, punishable by up to 10 years in prison, and with two lesser counts of endangering the safety of Reynolds and her daughter for firing his gun into the auto near them.

Jeronimo Yanez, 29, said that after Castile informed the former St. Anthony, Minnesota, cop that he had a licensed firearm in the auto, he told Castile not to reach for it. Yanez said that he saw Castile, 32, reaching for his gun in his pocket and reacted.

In that Facebook video, Castile - bleeding heavily - insists that he hadn't been reaching for his gun, which he had a permit to carry.

Meanwhile, supporters of Castile also gathered Tuesday at the St. Paul courthouse where the jury was deliberating.

But two defence use-of-force experts backed up Yanez's claim that he did see Castile pulling the gun, and that the officer had a reasonable belief that his life was in danger.

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Gray reminded the jury of the officer's testimony that Castile looked like a man who robbed a convenience store four days earlier.

He said this evidence shows that Castile was "stoned under marijuana" when he was pulled over by Yanez.

"I told him, 'Don't pull it out, ' " Yanez testified in court, adding that he tried to distract Philando, but "he continued to pull his firearm out of his pocket".

Noting that there was no damage to Castile's pocket or gun, Paulsen said that Castile's finger could not have been on the gun when he was shot.

Reynolds said that as Yanez continued to point his weapon into the vehicle after firing several shots, she feared for her safety and that of her 4-year-old daughter, who was also in the auto.

The shooting drew widespread attention after Castile's girlfriend streamed the gruesome aftermath on Facebook.

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"Among them was KingDemetrius Pendleton, a 47-year-old Minneapolis man who was wearing a T-shirt with Castile's photo that says "Justice 4 Philando", and "Hands Up Don't Shoot", with the hashtag "#BlackLivesMatter".

"The victim in this case was a good man too", Paulsen said, and referred to Castile's job at an elementary school. He tells his supervisor that he didn't know where Castile's gun was and that he told him to take his hand off it. Yanez testified that he meant only that he didn't see the gun at first. "And now they've been deprived of that role model". The officer shot the driver five times seconds after Castile told him he was carrying a gun. During the trial, Reynolds said she and Castile had used marijuana, and a subsequent autopsy found traces of the drug in his blood.

Earl Gray urged a jury to clear officer Jeronimo (yeh-RON'-ih-moh) Yanez of a manslaughter charge in the July death of Philando Castile.

Leary's instructions included the legal definition of second-degree manslaughter in Minnesota, as well as the elements the jury must consider related to the charge. The rest are white.

In closing, Gray told the jury, "It's not that hard of a case".

Last week, Reynolds explained her snap decision to record the traffic stop: "Because I know that the people are not protected against the police".

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