Aftermath of Yanez Not Guilty Verdict
If you are like me, you have been watching the news coming out of the Twin Cities lately, especially since the verdict came in in the Officer Jeronimo Yanez trial. Yanez was charged in Ramsey County with one count of second-degree manslaughter and two counts of reckless discharge of a firearm in the death of Philando Castile last July in Falcon Heights. Yanez was found not guilty of all counts in a jury trial, whose deliberations lasted 27 hours.
Since the verdict was read, protesters assembled at the Capitol Friday evening and ended up on I-94, shutting down the freeway in both directions. The freeway has since re-opened and 18 people were arrested. For a more thorough timeline, you can check Fox 9.
The city of St. Anthony, MN, has announced that Yanez will not be returning to the police force. "The City of St. Anthony has concluded that the public will be best served if Officer Yanez is no longer a police officer in our city," the city said in a statement. "The city intends to offer Officer Yanez a voluntary separation agreement to help him transition to another career other than being a St. Anthony officer..." The full statement can be seen here.
I am so glad I did not have to serve on that jury, I think it would have been extremely hard to discuss the case and come up with a verdict, especially with the whole state watching. I have seen several comments on Facebook on the different news pages, and there are so many differing opinions on what really happened, what should have been considered, and what a fair outcome should have been.
I am not sure what the right answer is, if there is in fact a right answer to what happened. I am also not surprised that Office Yanez will no longer be a police officer with the St. Anthony Police Department. Emotions are running very high, and this is probably the right outcome since he was found not guilty.
My final thoughts on this, my thoughts and prayers are with all who were involved, both the Castile and Yanez families, the legal teams, and the jurors. I was not there, I don't have the whole story, and my heart hurts for everyone who was affected by the whole situation.