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Yanez found not guilty on all counts in killing of Philando Castile

Jeronimo Yanez
Jeronimo Yanez

They reached a verdict. MPR’s Jon Collins and Riham Feshir report: “Jurors have found St. Anthony police officer Jeronimo Yanez not guilty on all counts tied to Yanez's July shooting of motorist Philando Castile during a traffic stop. … Yanez had faced charges of second-degree manslaughter and dangerous discharge of a firearm, both felonies, in the shooting death of Castile during a traffic stop last July. Yanez's trial began with jury selection on May 30, and moved into jury deliberations on Monday.”

Note: This Glean has been updated to include the Yanez verdict. The original post continues below.

Optics are optics. The Pioneer Press’ Tad Vezner report: “For a brief moment Wednesday — as the verdict of St. Anthony police officer Jeronimo Yanez seemed more imminent — fencing and barriers were erected around the sidewalk of the Governor’s Residence in St. Paul. … And then, almost as quickly, they were gone. … Leading many to wonder: What was that about? … Some insinuating tweets cropped up with the hashtag #Justice4Philando. … It turns out the barriers are for a fence-restoration project years in the making, and scheduled months ago. Specifically, the project — to repair the historic perimeter fence of the Summit Avenue mansion — was approved in 2011 and the date of construction approved on April 17. … On Wednesday afternoon, the governor’s office abruptly postponed the project and took down the barriers.”

Say, this wouldn’t be that “crony capitalism” thing we keep hearing about, would it? The Star Tribune’s J. Patrick Coolican reports: “Tucked inside a new state law that distributes $378 million in taxpayer dollars to create jobs and spur economic development is an unusual $150,000 payment to a single fishing resort. … The money is slated for 'small resort businesses located in the city of Isle with less than $350,000 in annual revenue, at least four rental units, which are open during both summer and winter months, and whose business was adversely impacted by a decline in walleye fishing on Lake Mille Lacs,' according to the language of the bill.”

Giving the next generation of farmers a hand. The Echo Press’ Celeste Edenloff writes: “A first-of-its-kind newly signed budget bill is a win-win for the future of farming in Minnesota. And it's thanks in part to Andrew Barsness, a 27-year-old grain farmer from Hoffman. … Barsness, a member and co-leader of the Central Minnesota Young Farmers Coalition, not only testified before the House Ag Policy Committee in support of the bill, but was part of the lobbying effort, along with other members of the coalition. … Through the bill, landowners receive a state income tax credit when they sell land or rent land or agricultural assets to a beginning farmer, which is someone who has been farming for fewer than 10 years, said Barsness.”

Maybe take up water polo? The Star Tribune’s Faiza Mahamud reports: “Sheila Terryll and her husband, Troy Musel, have golfed at Hiawatha Golf Club for nearly two decades — as long as they have lived in the neighborhood near the Minneapolis course. … But their days playing close to home may come to an end. The Minneapolis Park and Recreation Board will vote in July on the course’s future when it decides whether to reduce the groundwater pumping that keeps the golf course dry.

In other news…

Today, we are all Austin snow pile: “Despite heat, snow pile hangs on in Austin” [MPR]

Give ’em a brake: “Eden Prairie police urge caution while driving to avoid migrating turtles” [Star Tribune]

Seems like these beetles are everywhere: “Neighbors unite to save ash trees” [Rochester Post Bulletin]

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Comments (3)

Castile

So if you are black and a cop turns on the lights, do you pull over? Is it safer to flee? At this point it's a fair question.

Something really wrong with people who believe that a guy with a toddler in the backseat who actually told the cop he had a legal gun, was pulling out his gun to shoot an officer.

A rather naive comment

Given the examples of suicide by cop, shootings involving the mentally ill and ambushes of law enforcement, your comment doesn't jibe with reality. Individuals can behave with pure evil intent, they can exercise poor judgment or as may have happened here, there was confusion and miscommunication. Cops often times don't have the luxury to sort out all these factors.

I sympathize with the jury in this case. Based on the evidence, it was easy to come to a plausible conclusion either way. The key element was the burden of proof. Even if I probably accepted Castile's version as more likely (which I do), I'm not sure I could have done so beyond a reasonable doubt.

Juries

The problem is with juries. Juries find it close to impossible to convict police officers for use of force, however excessive it might, done within the context of their duties. This case tested the outer limits of that proposition, the jury was out for five days, but at the end, the verdict they reached is not surprising.