Castile’s family in St. Louis says verdict is like the shooting all over

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ST. LOUIS – The Minnesota police officer charged with killing Philando Castile during a traffic stop last year was found not guilty of second-degree manslaughter.

Officer Jeronimo Yanez was also acquitted of two counts of intentional discharge of firearm that endangers safety.

Castile's death gathered widespread attention after his girlfriend broadcast the shooting's aftermath via Facebook Live.

Castile, a St. Louis native, was later buried in his hometown.

Greg Taylor and Stacy Castile, two of Philando’s uncles who live in St. Louis, said they were shocked by the verdict. Taylor said he thought the trail was a slam dunk. He said he has no idea how to jury reached a not guilty verdict after hearing and seeing the evidence.

The jury was presented with dash cam video and the Facebook Live stream from Castile’s girlfriend.

The jury deliberated for 29 hours before reaching a verdict. Taylor said he felt like a jury with only two black members was already stacked against Philando and after one day with no verdict, he was just hoping for a hung jury.

The uncles said going into the trial, they thought Castile’s case would be one to make a difference and change some police practices, but Friday’s verdict was just the opposite.

“This is some bull. How can this be? It’s the same thing I felt when I watched the live stream of his killing, saying, ‘How could this be?’ And now I get shot again; it’s like they are just kicking my front door in, just terrorizing my family,” Taylor said.

The men said their sister, Philando’s mother, is angry. They said they don’t know what is next, but they aren’t giving up in the family’s fight for justice.


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