ST. PAUL, Minn. (CN) – A Minnesota jury on Friday acquitted St. Anthony Police Officer Jeronimo Yanez of manslaughter for the fatal traffic-stop shooting of Philando Castile last summer, the aftermath of which was streamed lived on Facebook.
On the fifth day of deliberations and 14th day of trial, jurors reached their verdict around 2 p.m. local time Friday. In total, jurors deliberated for more than 25 hours.
Upon hearing the verdict, Castile's mother, Valerie Castile, stormed out of the courtroom and yelled, "Fuck you. Fuck this shit!"
During a subsequent press conference, Castile’s mother thanked prosecutors but said she is disappointed in the system.
“The system continues to fail black people and it will continue to fail you all,” she said. “Like I said because this happened to Philando when they get done with us they are coming for you! For you! And all your interracial children. You all are next."
She noted that her son had one tattoo – the letters T.C., representing the Twin Cities.
“My son loved this city and this city killed my son! And a murderer gets away!"
Judge Glenda Hatchett, attorney for the Castile family, said after the verdict that “this time we had to get it right.”
“This time we had a young man, who had no criminal record, who was a 13-year employee of the St. Paul Public School System, who never missed worked, who loved the children that he served, knew all 500 children by name,” she said. “I said this time we didn't have a man fleeing from the scene, we didn't have a man fighting with the police. We had a man who was fully compliant as his mother taught him. This time! This time! There should have been in our opinion a very, very, very different outcome. Because if Philando can die under these circumstances, let's be clear, each of you could die under these circumstances.”
Castile’s sister, Allysza Castile, was also emotional opening up to reporters outside the courthouse.
"For those jurors to not to have human empathy and conscious to just do the right thing just baffles me,” she said. “I know my brother. My brother would never ever put Diamond in danger or Dea-Anna in danger because he loved that little girl and he loved this state."
Mel Reeves, a civil rights activist, said he is disappointed for Castile’s mother and the community.
"We were hoping for the best. But understanding the world I live in and the system we live under, I knew anything could happen,” he said.
Reeves said he was hoping the jurors would do the right thing but they did not.
"If you sat through that trial--and I did, there is no way you can come back and say he was not guilty on all charges. He was clearly guilty. They made their case. He was guilty,” he said.
Reeves refused to answer reporters' questions about the city's reaction or the community's response.
"We should ask questions about why do we keep coming back here, what kind of system do we live in if we can't get justice, ever?"
Ramsey County Attorney John Choi said, "We gave it our best shot. We really did. I'm so proud of the team we assembled… We put our heart and soul into it."