A suburban Minneapolis police officer faces three criminal charges for the controversial killing of Philando Castile last summer, Ramsey County Attorney John Choi announced Wednesday. Jeronimo Yanez, a St. Anthony police officer, was charged with second-degree manslaughter and two felony counts of dangerous discharge of a firearm, reports the Minneapolis Star Tribune. Choi said it was his conclusion that “use of deadly force by Officer Yanez was not justified.” Before Yanez, no officer had been charged in more than 150 police-involved deaths in Minnesota since 2000.
Castile, 32, was fatally shot July 6 by St. Anthony police officer Jeronimo Yanez during a traffic stop in Falcon Heights. A video recorded by his girlfriend, showing him bleeding in the car while the officer stood nearby, has been viewed millions of times around the world, and touched off widespread outrage and protests over several years of police killings of black men. Choi’s office has been reviewing evidence in the shooting since Sept. 28, when the Minnesota Bureau of Criminal Apprehension handed him its findings. Choi said Wednesday he chose to make the decision on charging himself, rather than turning the case over to a grand jury.