Officer Who Shot Castile Leaves Police Department

The police officer who fatally shot Philando Castle last July was not legally held accountable for Castile’s death. And now, he will receive $48,500 (minus deductions and tax withholdings, media reported) in exchange for leaving the department that employed him at the time of Castile’s death.

According to a statement posted on St. Anthony’s (where Yanez was formerly employed) website:

“In order to serve the public interest and quickly assure the public that Officer Yanez will not continue as a St. Anthony police officer, the City has entered into a separation agreement that ends all employment rights of Officer Yanez at the City. Since Officer Yanez was not convicted of a crime, as a public employee, he would have appeal and grievance rights if terminated. A reasonable voluntary separation agreement brings to a close one part of this horrible tragedy. The City concluded this was the most thoughtful way to move forward and help the community-wide healing process proceed.”

Yanez in June was acquitted of manslaughter in relation to Castile’s death.

In addition to the $48,500, Yanez will also receive payment for 600 hours of unused personal time, The Associated Press reported.

Clarence Castile, an uncle of Philando Castle, said that Yanez “should be in jail,” according to the AP.

“He’s like a fish that wiggled his way off a hook,” Clarence Castile said, adding, “Hopefully he won’t be able to get a police job in the United States. Because he’s a poor example of a police officer.”

Yanez fatally shot Castile during a traffic stop in July 2016. At the time Castile disclosed to Yanez that he was legally carrying a firearm. Yanez testified during trial that he “feared for his life” when Castile began reaching for what he believed was a weapon.

Dash cam video released recently does not definitively say whether Castile was in fact reaching for a firearm. Moments before his death Castile told Yanez, “I’m not pulling it out.”

Within seconds Yanez reached into the car, then fired seven shots and hit Castile five times, including twice in the heart.

Castile’s permit to carry a gun was later found in his wallet.

Diamond Reynolds, who was in the car with Castile at the time of the shooting (as was Reynolds’ four-year-old daughter), posted a video of the shooting to Facebook Live, garnering national attention to the tragic shooting.

Minnesota Gov. Mark Dayton last week proposed naming a $12 million police training fund in honor of Castile.

“I abhor the incident that occurred, the tragedy that occurred, befell Mr. Castile,” Dayton said. “It’s one of the most traumatic, if not the most traumatic events that’s happened in my six-and-a-half years.”

Dayton also named Castile’s uncle, Clarence Castile, to the state’s Peace Officer Standards and Training Board.

Castile’s family recently reached a $3 million settlement with the city of St. Anthony.

The National Rifle Association (NRA) recently released a statement regarding Castile’s death after mostly staying silent on the tragedy.

“Do I believe that Philando Castile deserved to lose his life over a stop I absolutely do not,” Dana Loesch, who serves as the NRA’s special assistant to the executive vice president for public communication, said on CNN over the weekend. “I also think this is why we have things like NRA Carry Guard, not only to reach out to citizens to go over what to do during stops like this, but also to work with law enforcement so that they understand what citizens are experiencing.”

But Women’s March Co-President Tamika D. Mallory said that Castile’s death was a result of the color of his skin.

“Black people are not allowed to reach for their concealed carry record because if we reach anywhere, we are shot and killed, and that does not happen to white people,” Mallory said.

Prior to Loesch’s statement, in a segment on “The Daily Show” host Trevor Noah, who was the keynote speaker at DiversityInc’s event in May, blasted NRA CEO Wayne LaPierre for not commenting on the fatal police shooting of legal gun owner Castile.

“This is one group that you would expect to be losing their goddamned minds about this: the NRA. But, for some strange reason, on this particular case, they’ve been completely silent,” Noah said. “Completely silent. And yet, according to their rhetoric, this is everything that they stand against, right An officer of the state depriving a citizen of his life because he was legally carrying a firearm”

At the time of the shooting the NRA released a statement that the reports from Minnesota are “troubling and must be thoroughly investigated,” and “rest assured the NRA will have more to say once all the facts are known.”

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