Minn. Police Officer Who Killed Philando Castile Identified; Gov. Admits Race Played Role
According to Washington Post reports:
On Thursday night, Minnesota state officials named Jeronimo Yanez as the officer who shot and killed Philando Castile during the traffic stop near St. Paul. The state agency investigating the shooting said that Yanez and Officer Joseph Kauser, who have both been with the St. Anthony Police Department for four years, were on administrative leave.
Yanez approached the driver’s side of the vehicle driven by Castile and during the interaction, “discharged his weapon, striking Castile multiple times,” the agency said in a statement. Officials also said a gun was recovered at the scene.
In a statement Thursday night, the Minnesota Department of Public Safety offered additional details about the shooting and its aftermath, reporting that Yanez, the officer who shot Castile, requested an ambulance. They also said that they have collected several videos of the shooting, though none from body-worn cameras on either officer.
“Interviews with witnesses are ongoing and several videos, including squad car video of the incident, have been collected as evidence,” the department said in a statement said. “St. Anthony Police Department officers do not wear body cameras.”
SMH. Officer Yanez. Really?
In the meantime Minnesota’s governor has already spoken out about the shooting, admitting that he believes racism played a role.
“Would this have happened if those passengers, the driver and the passengers, were white?” Gov. Mark Dayton said nearly a day after Castile was killed. “I don’t think it would have. … I think all of us in Minnesota are forced to confront that this kind of racism exists.”
“Nobody should be shot and killed in Minnesota … for a taillight being out of function,” the governor said. “Nobody should be shot and killed while seated still in their car. I’m heartbroken.”
Dayton said earlier Thursday that he asked the White House for a federal investigation into the shooting. FBI Director James B. Comey, testifying before Congress on Thursday, said he was briefed on the fatal encounter and added that he “would expect we’ll be involved.”
Governor Mark Dayton welcomed protestors to the Governor’s Mansion Thursday and even met with Diamond Reynolds, Castile’s girlfriend — who witnessed and documented the shooting as a passenger in the car during the traffic stop.
So messed up. Gov. Dayton may be stating the obvious to most of us, but he’s already being criticized for his comments by leaders of the Minnesota Police department.
According to The Guardian reports that David Titus, the president of the St Paul Police Federation had harsh criticism for Dayton’s remarks:
“The governor’s statement insinuates that law enforcement is racist and it’s absolutely inaccurate and inappropriate,” said Titus. “It’s outrageously insulting. One would think that a governor especially would know to wait until the facts are in before making a judgment.”
Titus said he had already been inundated with complaints from his members, who were “concerned and upset” about what he called a “dangerously irresponsible statement.” He declined to comment himself about video footage of the shooting, which has caused widespread anger and prompted a request from Dayton for a federal inquiry.
Titus said he was concerned that Dayton’s remarks about the officer’s conduct and beliefs threatened to prejudice the investigative process. “I would like to see everyone take a step back and let this play out,” he said.
Man, keep in mind this clown Titus is the same person who this May said that Black Lives Matter activists’ “sole intention is to create friction and upheaval between communities of color and police officers.”
Not True. At ALL.
What do you think of the Governor’s comments and the criticism he’s receiving? Do your feelings about the Castile shooting change at all knowing that he was shot by another person of color?
AP Images/St. Anthony Police Department