The police officer that fatally shot Philando Castile has now been charged with second degree manslaughter.
Officer Jeronimo Yanez of the St. Anthony Police Department faces a total of three felony charges: one charge of second degree manslaughter and two felony counts of dangerous discharge of a firearm. The announcement came from Ramsey County Attorney John Choi this Wednesday morning.
Yanez shot 32 year old Castile on July 6 during a traffic stop in the suburb of Falcon Heights. Castile’s girlfriend, Diamond Reynolds, was in the car along with her 4 year old daughter.
Castile, who was licensed for concealed carry, notified Yanez that he had a weapon and was licensed for it. The aftermath of the shooting was recorded by Reynolds, in which she asks Yanez why he shot Castile.
“There was no objective threat posed to Officer Yanez, Officer [Joseph] Kauser or anyone in that car,” Choi told reporters.
“Philando Castile was not resisting or fleeing. He was respectful and compliant. He volunteered, in good faith, that he had a firearm ― beyond what the law requires,” Choi said, adding, “His dying words were in protest that he wasn’t reaching for his gun.”
According to the 10 page criminal complaint filed in Ramsey County District Court, Yanez, who said he feared for his life at the time of the shooting, could face up to 20 years in prison and up to $40,000 in fines.
“The mere mention of a firearm alone doesn’t justify the use of the deadly force,” Choi said. The attorney also said that experts consulted by his office determined that use of force was “not necessary…and was inconsistent with generally accepted police practices.”
Yanez will make his first court appearance on Friday at 1:30 p.m. and plans to turn himself in.
Following Castile’s death a short film was made in his honor from family and friends. Titled Happy Birthday Philando Castile (he was supposed to turn 33 that same month), the eight minute movie celebrated Castile through the people that knew him best.