Saturday, 21 October, 2017

Valerie Castile: 'The system continues to fail black people'

Philando Castile's Mom Decries The Justice System That Failed Her Son Valerie Castile: 'The system continues to fail black people'
Christy Curtis | 18 June, 2017, 02:18

We felt all along his conduct was justified. The Minnesota State Patrol states that 18 people were arrested for failing to comply with the dispersal order.

Yanez was the first police officer in modern Minnesota history to be charged in an on-duty shooting.

"The system continues to fail black people, and it will continue to fail you all", said Valerie Castile.

Prosecutors argued that Yanez did not see the gun and acted unreasonably.

The finding was in line with recent history showing trials of police officers often end in non-convictions - almost 40 percent of the time for those that Philip Stinson, a criminologist at Ohio's Bowling Green State University, has tracked since 2005. The livestreaming of its aftermath by Castile's girlfriend, Diamond Reynolds, who was in the vehicle with her then-4-year-old daughter, attracted even more attention.

Protests in the wake of the shooting put another spotlight on the systemic violence faced by black men and women at the hands of police, and watchdog and human rights groups reacted to the verdict by urging an overhaul to police standards for the use of lethal force. The public outcry included protests in Minnesota that shut down highways and surrounded the governor's mansion.

The mostly white jury deliberated for some 29 hours over the course of five days this week before reaching the verdict.

For his family and many in the community, Castile is now one more African American face denied justice, joining the grim gallery of names like Michael Brown of Ferguson, Freddie Gray of Baltimore, and Tamir Rice of Cleveland.

Juror Dennis Ploussard said the jury was split 10-2 early this week in favor of acquittal.

On the squad-car video, Castile can be heard saying, "I'm not pulling it out", as Yanez opened fire. Two holdouts eventually agreed after five days. Though he didn't identify the two holdouts, he explained to the AP that it wasn't the jury's only two black members.

The arrests came after a jury acquitted a police officer Jeronimo Yanez in the fatal shooting of Philando Castile during a traffic stop a year ago - a verdict that brought cries of dismay from the dead man's family and supporters in the courtroom.

Prosecutors in St. Paul, Minnesota, said recordings from the auto - both from Reynolds' phone and from a dashboard camera - showed that Castile was courteous and non-threatening, and they told the court there was no justification for Yanez' action.

Yanez had initially singled out Castile for a traffic stop because the officer thought he bared a resemblance to a robbery suspect. Hundreds blocked the I-94 freeway past year after Castile's death was first reported. "The city intends to offer Officer Yanez a voluntary separation agreement to help him transition to another career".

After approaching his vehicle window, Yanez asked Castile for his license and proof of insurance. Castile appears to give something to Yanez through the driver's side window.

According to KTSP-TV, the judge tasked the jurors to determine the level of culpable negligence demonstrated by Yanez in his decision to use lethal force against Castile.

"I am so very, very, very. disappointed in the system here in the state of Minnesota", Valerie Castile said. Yanez's voice choked with emotion as he talked of being "scared to death" and thinking of his wife and baby daughter in the split-second before he fired. Castile's girlfirend, Diamond Reynolds, was in the vehicle at the time and began live-streaming the event in the moments after the shots were fired.

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