Officer Jeronimo Yanez, who fatally shot Philando Castile during a traffic stop, has been charged with 2nd-Degree manslaughter, as well as two felony counts of dangerous discharge of a weapon. The charge was announced Wednesday by Ramsey County Attorney, John Choi.

Via Slate:

Choi said he made his decision after reviewing dashcam footage of the interaction between Castile and the officer who killed him, Jeronimo Yanez. According to Choi, Castile complied with Yanez’s instructions during the traffic stop, keeping his hands in sight before informing the officer, “calmly and in a non-threatening manner,” that he had a gun. (Castile had a license to carry his firearm, and his family provided a copy of his permit to media about a week after the shooting.) Choi said that Yanez responded by instructing Castile not to pull the gun out. Though Castile replied, “I’m not pulling it out,” Yanez repeated, this time screaming, “Don’t pull it out.” He then proceeded to fire seven shots. According to Choi, Castile’s final words were, “I wasn’t reaching for it.”

The dashcam footage Choi referred to has not been made public, though the ACLU has sued for its release. The aftermath of Castile’s fatal shooting was, however, captured on video by his girlfriend and streamed live on Facebook. The death of Castile, a 32-year-old black man, came during a particularly traumatic week, one that began with the shooting of Alton Sterling in Baton Rouge, Louisiana, and ended with the killing of five police officers in Dallas by a sniper who said he was motivated by a desire to kill white officers.

Before the shooting in Falcon Heights, which left Castile clinging to his life while his girlfriend and her 4-year-old daughter looked on, Yanez had said over his police radio that he was pulling Castile over because he matched the description of a robbery suspect. (Yanez, who is Latino, took particular note of Castile’s “wide-set nose.”) According to Choi, Yanez told investigators a day after the shooting that he had become scared for his life because he believed Castile was trying to block the officer’s view of his right hand. Choi, the prosecutor in Ramsey County, said at Wednesday’s press conference that expressing “subjective fear of death or great bodily harm” is “not enough” to legally justify the use of deadly force by a police officer. “I would submit that no reasonable officer knowing, seeing and hearing what Officer Yanez did at the time would have used deadly force under these circumstances,” Choi said.

Too bad it’s only manslaughter. That man was MURDERED for no reason in front of his 4-year-old daughter!

Thousands of mourners gathered at the St. Paul Cathedral in Downtown, St. Paul, Minnesota to say an eternal goodbye to Philando Castile.

pcastile

Castile was killed by police when he and his girlfriend were pulled over for a busted tail light. His girlfriend, Diamond Reynolds, captured the aftermath of the shooting on Facebook Live.

The funeral and the recession was open to the public. The recession was held at the J. J. Hill Montessori school, where Castile worked as the cafeteria supervisor.

According to Star Tribune, Calls of ‘unite for Philando’ rang out at the end of the service, as mourners raised their fists in tribute to Castile.

All images provided by Associated Press

 

Facebook is known as the giant social networking site that connects us with anyone all over the world. As of late, it has also been known as the networking site that exposes users to videos graphic in nature, such as killings. Since the Facebook Live feature debuted, users witnessed a few murders, including police killings. The recent tragedies regarding Alton Sterling and Philando Castile would have left us with a lot of questions but thanks to Facebook, we’ve seen more than enough to realize that social injustice and devaluation of black lives is rampant….as it always has been.

Mark Zuckerberg, the founder of Facebook, posted a statement on his page about Diamond Reynolds, who used the Facebook Live feature to capture the aftermath of her boyfriend’s murder by Minnesota Police. Reynold’s video and her account has since been removed, but not before her video went viral and seen by millions.

This is what Zuckerberg had to say:

In less than 24 hours after the execution of Alton Sterling, a Minnesota man, Philando Castile is murdered by police…in front of his 4-year-old daughter and girlfriend.

 

Have we had enough yet?

Are we fed up enough to get things done and make change?

Are you like me, who is tired of seeing names hashtagged with RIPs?

Like Alton, Philando Castile is more than just a hashtag. According to family history and sources, 35-year-old Castile was a sweet, soft-spoken man who loved his job as a school cafeteria supervisor. He was well-known and respected by staff and students, and he was well-loved by family and friends. The day he died seemed like a typical day for him and his girlfriend, Diamond Reynolds, who said in a press conference that he had just got his hair done in preparations for his birthday. They were running errands when they were pulled over for allegedly having a busted tail light. What you see in the video below is the result of that encounter.

WARNING: GRAPHIC

My thoughts:
I am truly amazed at the calm Ms.Reynolds showed, while her boyfriend lay next to her, dying from gunshot wounds. To think that she had to take the time to sign into her Facebook account and press live without screaming, cradling Philando, or basically going insane. I truly commend her for containing her emotion enough to do what she needed to do in the midst of sudden tragedy.

 

I’m tired, frustrated, and worried for my children’s future.

As a mother of a girl and a boy, I fear that my kids will have to grow in a world with people who will judge them for the color of their skin.

Our skin color is a death target for police officers who are scared of us. Ms. Reynolds brought up a good point during her press conference. I guarantee you that half of those who are sworn in to “serve and protect” has grown into adulthood with mental issues and suffering from emotional abuse.

They take their frustrations out on people of color with a bullet.

“It’s a silent war against African-American people as a whole” ~Valerie Castile

I feel in my heart that Alton and Philando’s tragedy is the straw that broke the camel’s back.

What now?