Bronx, NY- After learning of the not-guilty verdict for officer Jeronimo Yanez, the Minnesota officer who fatally shot Philando Castile, Assembly Member Michael Blake released the following statement.
“I was appalled, but unfortunately not shocked, by the not-guilty verdict handed down by a jury to officer Jeronimo Yanez, who had been charged with second-degree manslaughter after fatally shooting Philando Castile after pulling him over for a broken tail light. Our continual thoughts and prayers will go to the Castile family who today will feel pain yet again due to this decision.
Philando Castile seemingly did everything he thought he was supposed to do in that situation. He informed the officer that he had a firearm and was licensed to carry, but, this routine traffic stop still resulted in his death. This tragedy yet again shows us how important it is to build more trust between the police and communities of color because unfortunately, people will continue to believe that there is an unfair Criminal Justice system when results such as this one continue to occur.
Understanding that the vast majority of officers work every day to serve their communities, it is disheartening when officers whose actions cost the lives of innocent people don’t face the same consequences for their actions that some others may face. This tragedy is another demonstration why we need to invest in training programs for officers and build stronger ties in the communities that they serve. These reforms will make life safer for police officers and all of our communities."
Source: The Office of Assemblyman Michael Blake