Jeronimo Yanez, officer who shot Philando Castile, receives $48K payout to leave department

Former Officer Jeronimo Yanez shot Philando Castile on July 6, 2016. Ever since then, his life’s gone pretty good for someone who narrowly esxaped murder charges.

Yanez was acquitted of all charges connected to the shooting because of the [apparently fool-proof] “I feared for my life” defense. Most recently, it was announced that he not only got to leave his position on his own terms, but he got paid thousands of dollars to do so. 

Valerie Castile, Philando Castile’s mother, on Instagram: “F*ck the police!”

The police officer who shot and killed Philando Castile last July was found not guilty. Despite a recording of Castile’s last words and a lengthy history of him basically being harassed by local police, no one will be held responsible for his death.

In other instances of police violence, we often see the parents and loved ones of the victims being used as mouthpieces of local leaders seeking to pacify any tensions in the community. They set them up at a podium and instruct them to ask for peace ad privacy, essentially dismissing the anger felt by everyone else.

Philando Castile’s mother has not let herself become one of those people. 

Philando Castile Flickr

The system isn’t failing us because it isn’t ours

One of the earliest lessons I learned as child was “you can’t win if you don’t try.” The logic showed me that the critical ingredient to success was actually doing something to be successful. Now, as I look at the repeated miscarriages of justice where it concerns slain and oppressed Black people in the United States, I don’t see the system as failing. It just isn’t trying and was never meant to address the grievances and harms committed against Black people.

I hate having to write that, just like I hate having to write about a 32-year-old Black man having his life taken because of anti-Blackness and systemic racism only to have his killer walk free.

Yet, here we are.

Black Judge Removed From Philando Castile Shooting Trial

The second most senior judge – Ramsey County District Court Judge Edward Wilson – has been removed from the trial of St. Anthony, Minn. police officer Jeronimo Yanez, who shot and killed Philando Castile in July.  Judge Wilson, who was originally assigned to the case specifically because of his experience, happens to be black.

According to a rule of Minnesota criminal procedure, defense or prosecuting attorneys are allowed to ask for the removal of a judge from a trial once without giving any explanation as to why. This tactic was quietly used this past week but Yanez’s attorneys, in accordance with the law, do not have to give any explanation as to why they wanted Wilson removed.

Minnesota Cop Who Shot Philando Castile Charged With Manslaughter

Philando Castille’s death was live streamed for millions as his girlfriend, Diamond Reynolds, sat next to him in a car after he was shot by a police officer in Minnesota. It was easily one of the most visible instances of police violence to date.

St. Anthony police officer Jeronimo Yanez, who shot Castille on July 6, has been charged with second-degree manslaughter and two felony counts of dangerous discharge.

Obama Offers Support to American Police, Does Little to Promote Change

On Monday, after the killing of three police officers in Baton Rouge and a town hall on police brutality last week, President Obama released a statement from the White House in support of law enforcement in the United States.

There is no doubt that it has been a harrowing month with folks on all sides of the issue of police brutality speaking out and speaking up, especially in the wake of the deaths of Philando Castile and Alton Sterling earlier this month. However, President Obama’s letter seems to come down on the side of protecting police rather than promoting systemic change.