*The Minnesota police officer that fatally shot Philando Castile during a traffic stop has been found not guilty on all counts.
After five days of deliberations, the jury on Friday found Officer Jeronimo Yanez not guilty of second-degree manslaughter. He was also acquitted of two counts of intentional discharge of firearm that endangers safety – over allegedly endangering Castile’s girlfriend, Diamond Reynolds, and her 4-year-old daughter.
Castile, a 32-year-old school cafeteria worker, was driving with Reynolds and her daughter when they were pulled over by Yanez. Prosecutors portrayed Yanez as a nervous officer who was too quick to pull the trigger after learning Castile had a gun, based on an unreasonable suspicion that he was a robbery suspect, they said.
Yanez testified he feared for his life because Castile reached for his firearm, despite being instructed not to do.
Castile’s death sparked nationwide protests over the use of force by police — after his girlfriend broadcast the shooting’s aftermath on Facebook Live.
According to CNN, members of the Castile family began cursing and crying out in the courtroom after the verdicts were announced, despite warnings from the judge that everyone in the courtroom should remain composed.
The families of Castile and Yanez were escorted out of separate courtroom exits. At least 13 officers were present in the small courtroom when the verdicts were read.
Outside court, Valerie Castile said she was disappointed in the state of Minnesota, “Because nowhere in the world do you die from being honest and telling the truth.
“The system continues to fail black people,” she said. “My son loved this city and this city killed my son and the murderer gets away! Are you kidding me right now?
“We’re not evolving as a civilization, we’re devolving. We’re going back down to 1969. What is it going to take?”