| MINNEAPOLIS, Minn.
MINNEAPOLIS, Minn. May 30 Jury selection is
scheduled to begin on Tuesday in the trial of a Minnesota police
officer charged with fatally shooting a black motorist, an
incident that sparked outrage when the moments that followed
were broadcast widely on social media.
Jeronimo Yanez is facing second-degree manslaughter charges
for the shooting death of Philando Castile, 32, who was killed
in July 2016 in the St. Paul suburb of Falcon Heights during a
The shooting, along with that of a black man by police a day
earlier in Baton Rouge, Louisiana, as well as other incidents,
fueled public debate in the United States over the use of
excessive force by law enforcement against minorities.
Yanez pleaded not guilty to the charges in February. His
legal team tried unsuccessfully to have the trial moved away
from the Ramsey County District Court in St. Paul, arguing Yanez
would not be able to get a fair trial due to media coverage.
Starting about 40 seconds after the shooting, Castile's
girlfriend, Diamond Reynolds, streamed images of a bloody
Castile on Facebook Live from the vehicle's passenger seat. The
recording quickly went viral on social media.
Yanez said he had reason to pull over the car because
Castile looked like a suspect in a convenience store robbery
that took place in the area four days earlier, court documents
said. Castile's vehicle also had a broken brake light.
After Castile was stopped, Yanez asked Castile to present
his driver's license and insurance permit. Castile provided
Yanez with his insurance permit and disclosed to the officer
that he was carrying a firearm.
Yanez told Castile not to reach for his gun and Castile said
he was not, before Yanez pulled his weapon and shot Castile
seven times, according to court documents.
The exchange took just over a minute. Castile's permit to
carry a gun was later found in his wallet.
Yanez told investigators he feared for his life and believed
Castile was reaching for his weapon, the complaint said.
Yanez was not justified in his use of deadly force because
Castile showed "absolutely no criminal intent," Ramsey County
Attorney John Choi said when he announced the charges against
Activists, who protested along with Minnesota residents
after Castile's death, said a guilty verdict would be a small
"I'm not sure a conviction will result in justice because
this will not get (Castile's) life back. But consequences are
necessary to show that it is not OK to kill black people," said
Kandace Montgomery, a Black Live Matters activist in Minnesota.
(Writing by Timothy Mclaughlin in Chicago; Editing by