Yesterday, the much-publicized trail of Minneapolis Police Officer Jeronimo Yanez came to an end. After 27 hours of deliberation, the jury — which consisted of seven men and five women — found Yanez not guilty of manslaughter in the case of Philando Castile, who was black. Yanez had fired into Castile’s car, claiming he thought Castile was going for a gun. The jury evidently found the claim credible and acquitted the cop.
Typical of such outcomes, protesters assembled outside the courthouse to protest, later marching to the interstate, where they proceeded to block traffic. Also typical was the reaction of the dead man’s mother, who insisted her son had been murdered and that the verdict was just another instance of systemic racism.
But the only two black jurors in the case evaluated the evidence and came up with a different conclusion. Dennis Ploussard, one of the twelve jurors, said that the jury was broken down 10-2 for acquitting Yanez of his manslaughter charges — 10 jurors were in favor of clearing Officer Yanez and the other two were unconvinced.
The jury discussed the “culpable negligence” for the manslaughter requirement, Ploussard went on. Eventually, the two unconvinced came to agree to acquit Yanez.
Yanez shot Castile seven times after he pulled him over for a broken tail light. Yanez claimed that Castile was reaching for his gun, although prosecution argued that Yanez acted too hastily in the exchange.
Yanez’s defense lawyers pointed to Castile’s previous drug use when arguing their case.
“None of this would have happened but for Philando Castile,” defense attorney Earl Gray said. “[Yanez] sees the gun and [Castile] doesn’t follow orders. That’s enough to pull your gun out and end the threat.”
This report, by Amber Randall, was cross-posted by arrangement with the Daily Caller News Foundation.