Philando Divall Castile (July 16, 1983 – July 6, 2016) was 32 years old at the time of his death. Castile was born in St. Louis, Missouri. He graduated from Saint Paul Central High School in 2001 and worked for the Saint Paul Public School District from 2002 until his death. Castile began as a nutrition services assistant at Chelsea Heights Elementary School and Arlington High School (now Washington Technology Magnet School). He was promoted to nutrition services supervisor at J. J. Hill Montessori Magnet School, in August 2014. Prior to the shooting, Castile had been stopped by the police 52 times for traffic violations, some of which resulted in his arrest.
On July 6, 2016, Philando Castile was shot and killed by Jeronimo Yanez, a St. Anthony, Minnesota, police officer, after being pulled over in Falcon Heights, a suburb of Saint Paul. Castile was in a car with his girlfriend, Diamond Reynolds, and her four-year-old daughter when he was pulled over by Yanez and another officer.
The shooting achieved a high profile from a live-streamed video on Facebook made by Diamond Reynolds in the immediate aftermath of the shooting. It shows her interacting with the armed officer as a mortally injured Castile lies slumped over, moaning slightly and his left arm and side bloody. The Hennepin County Medical Examiner’s office said he had sustained multiple gunshot wounds and reported that Castile died at 9:37 p.m. CDT in the emergency room of the Hennepin County Medical Center, about 20 minutes after being shot.
According to a police dashcam video/audio, after being asked for his license and registration, Castile told the officer he had a firearm, to which the officer replied ‘Don’t reach for it then’. After saying ‘Don’t pull it out’ twice, the officer shot at Castile seven times.
Reynold’s testimony was that Castile was shot while reaching for his ID after telling Yanez he was armed.
On November 16, 2016, John Choi, the Ramsey County Attorney, announced that Yanez was being charged with three felonies: one count of second-degree manslaughter and two counts of dangerous discharge of a firearm. Choi said, “I would submit that no reasonable officer knowing, seeing, and hearing what Officer Yanez did at the time would have used deadly force under these circumstances.”
Yanez was acquitted of all charges on June 16, 2017. The same day, the City of Saint Anthony said it was offering Officer Yanez a voluntary separation agreement.
Photo: Black Doctor0