Jury deliberates 27 hours in Philando Castile case
A jury on Friday acquitted a Minnesota police officer on all counts almost one year after he fatally shot a black motorist during a traffic stop.
The 12-member jury deliberated for 27 hours before finding Jeronimo Yanez, who is Hispanic, not guilty on all charges, according to the Minnesota Star Tribune newspaper.
Yanez said during the trial he believed Philando Castile, 32, was reaching for a firearm when he opened fire last July, ultimately shooting seven rounds. Castile had earlier informed Yanez he had a firearm, which he had a permit to carry.
"Where in this planet do you tell the truth, and you be honest, and you still be murdered by the police of Minnesota," Castile's mother, Valerie, told reporters outside of the courthouse. "The system continues to fail black people."
The fatal shooting's aftermath was livestreamed on Facebook by Castile's girlfriend, Diamond Reynolds, who along with her 4-year-old daughter was in the car at the time.
Yanez initially pulled Castile over for a non-working brake light.
Prosecutors argued Yanez racially profiled Castile, but Yanez maintained that in addition to the brake light he also wanted to determine whether Castile was a suspect in an armed robbery that occurred four days earlier.
Castile was not linked to that crime.
Yanez said he feared for his life, and Castile reached for his firearm despite being ordered not to do so.
The defense argued Castile was unable to heed the officer's instructions because he was allegedly under the influence of marijuana.