74 Seconds: The trial of officer Jeronimo Yanez | Minnesota Public Radio News


74 Seconds: The trial of officer Jeronimo Yanez

In July 2016, officer Jeronimo Yanez shot Philando Castile during a traffic stop in a Twin Cities suburb. The world watched the aftermath, live on Facebook. Yanez was charged in Castile's death. Jurors found him not guilty on all charges June 16, 2017.

This is the archive of MPR News' live coverage of the trial, starting from the beginning. The newsroom also covered the trial and its aftermath on the air, online and in the 74 Seconds podcast.
  • Day 12 | A waiting game as jury weighs Yanez's fate 

    Wednesday, June 14, 2017
    Updated 1 p.m. | Posted 12:06 a.m.
    Jon Collins | MPR News
    St. Paul -- As jury deliberation in the trial of St. Anthony police officer Jeronimo Yanez moved  into its third day Wednesday, family and friends of Philando Castile waited nervously for a verdict, and law enforcement prepared for the possibility of demonstrations.
    Yanez is charged in the traffic-stop shooting death of Philando Castile in Falcon Heights on July 6. He faces charges of second-degree manslaughter and two counts of dangerous discharge of a firearm. Castile's girlfriend, Diamond Reynolds, and her 4-year-old daughter were in the car at the time of the shooting.
    Activists from a number of groups have called for a demonstration on the evening the verdict is announced. But they're following the lead of Castile's family, led by his mother, Valerie Castile, said Pastor Danny Givens, a minister and clergy liaison to Black Lives Matter Minneapolis.
    "The most important thing that's going to happen after this verdict, whichever way it goes, is that we're first and foremost going to wrap our arms around Valerie Castile and her family," Givens said. "Before we move and do anything in this community on behalf of her family, we have got to be sure that we move and have action for them."
    Some police departments in the area have started to prepare for the possibility of protests. While there have been no protests during the trial, several demonstrations cropped up around the Twin Cities last summer after Castile's death: People camped outside the governor's mansion. They marched in the streets. They took over a Falcon Heights city council meeting. There was a children's march. And Castile's family handed out cupcakes at a street festival to mark what would have been his 33rd birthday.
    The gatherings were largely peaceful, but they were big. Streets had to be shut down. Crowds had to be managed. One turned violent when protesters marched onto Interstate 94 in St. Paul.  So police are preparing.
     "Out of an abundance of concern, law enforcement agencies are beginning to develop, and in some instances finalize, plans for civil unrest following the trial," then-Maplewood Police Chief Paul Schnell wrote in a memo last month.  
    Maplewood officers were instructed not to ask for time off around the trial. Every officer needed to be fitted for gas masks, said Schnell, who has since retired.
     In St. Paul, police Cmdr. Josh Lego said his newly formed special operations unit is designed to respond differently to protests. Most demonstrations, he said, are exercises in free speech and not a danger to the public.   
    "How we deal with it is in a layered response," Lego said, "to not consider every assembly a nail that we always bring a hammer to, that's not what we're after."  
    St. Anthony Police Chief Jon Mangseth, Yanez’s boss, said his department will be ready to assist other agencies if needed.  
    "I don't know what to anticipate following the trial or during the trial. We have to be ready in case something happens," Mangseth said. "We have to be in constant communication with our partners in our county level." 
    Outside the courthouse on Tuesday afternoon, Castile's friend John Thompson waited nervously for a verdict. "Hope for the best, prepare for the worst," Thompson said. "What happened to Philando was a crime, it was a crime, so if he's not found guilty of a crime, then this is a crime in this courthouse."
    Jurors were scheduled to deliberate between until as late as 4:30 p.m. Wednesday. They need to decide on the verdict unanimously.  
    MPR News reporter Tracy Mumford contributed to this report.
    by Meg Martin, MPR News edited by Paul Tosto, MPR News 6/14/2017 5:06:15 AM
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