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Philandro Castile Murderer Gets Off

Yet another cooked jury…

Murder for hire.

Minn. officer acquitted in shooting of Philando Castile during traffic stop, dismissed from police force

The Minnesota police officer who fatally shot Philando Castile during a traffic stop was acquitted on all charges by a jury Friday, a decision that came nearly a year after the encounter was partially streamed online to a rapt nation in the midst of a painful reckoning over shootings by law enforcement.

Officer Jeronimo Yanez pulled Castile’s car over in Falcon Heights, a suburb near Minneapolis and St. Paul, and the officer later said he thought Castile matched the description of a suspect in a robbery. The stop quickly escalated.

Yanez fired into the car, saying later he thought Castile was going for his gun, a claim Castile’s girlfriend, sitting in the seat next to him, disputed. She began streaming the aftermath of the shooting on Facebook Live.

Police officers are seldom charged for fatal on-duty shootings and convictions are even less common. Castile’s death came at a time of intense scrutiny of fatal police-involved shootings, and the viral video of his final moments spurred heated demonstrations that continued for weeks.

Outside the court, where a small group of protesters gathered Friday afternoon, Castile’s relatives denounced the jury’s decision. Castile’s mother called his death a murder and tied the verdict to what she described as systemic racism in Minnesota.

“The system continues to fail black people, and it will continue to fail you all,” Valerie Castile said, her anger building. “My son loved this city and this city killed my son. And the murderer gets away. Are you kidding me right now?”

Prosecutors charged Yanez with second-degree manslaughter in November, a felony, saying that “no reasonable officer” would have used deadly force in the same situation. He also was charged with two felony counts for intentionally discharging the gun. Jurors began deliberating Monday, and the verdict was announced Friday afternoon.

 
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Posted by on June 16, 2017 in BlackLivesMatter

 

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Terrence Crutcher Killer Gets a Walk

Yet another odd one from the courts. This one in my view, definitely falls under “The New Jim Crow”.  I am not familiar with the statutes in the State relative to murder, so this could be an issue of “overcharging” – but I cannot understand why this murderer wasn’t held culpable. At least under a lesser charge.

Tulsa police officer found not guilty in shooting of Terence Crutcher

Officer Shelby was acquitted by a jury in the shooting of unarmed black man Terence Crutcher

Tulsa police officer Betty Jo Shelby was acquitted of first-degree manslaughter after shooting and killing unarmed black man Terence Crutcher last year. The jury of nine white people and three were black people acquitted Shelby after nine hours of deliberation on Wednesday night, according to NPR.

The shooting took place last September and was captured on video which shows Crutcher with his hands above his head as he walks towards his vehicle that is stalled in the middle of the road. Aerial footage of the shooting was also taken by Shelby’s husband, a Tulsa police officer who was operating the department’s helicopter that evening.

Shelby said that she used lethal force because she feared for her life as she believed Crutcher attempted to reach into a car to, presumably, grab a weapon. The officer arrived at the scene where Crutcher’s car was stalled in the middle of the road, and a witness who dialed 911 claimed a man was running away from the vehicle delivering warnings that it may explode, according to CNN. Shelby testified that Crutcher was not complying with her commands to make his hands visible and that she had acted only as she was trained to. Shelby also said Crutcher was sweating and claimed that she had smelled PCP.

“We’re not trained to see what comes out of a car,” she said according to CNN. “We’re trained to stop a threat, and by all indications, he was a threat.” At the same time that Shelby shot Crutcher, another officer next to her deployed his taser.  An autopsy report found that PCP was in Crutcher’s system at the time of the shooting, according to CNN.  However, no weapon was ultimately found on his person or in the vehicle.

When asked if the outcome of the incident was Crutcher’s own fault, Shelby replied, “Yes,” in a “60 Minutes” interview. “I have sorrow that this happened, that this man lost his life. But he caused the situation to occur,” Shelby said “So in the end, he caused his own,” death.

The ruling delivered a devastating blow to the family who believed that Shelby should have faced consequences for her actions. “Let it be known that I believe in my heart that Betty Shelby got away with murder, and I don’t know what was in the mind of that jury,” Crutcher’s father said, according to NPR.

The incident is the latest in a string of shootings of unarmed black men at the hands of law enforcement across the country. Officers have seldom been convicted of crimes. Critics say that Shelby, who is white, overreacted and used unnecessary force. Protesters gathered peacefully outside the courtroom shortly after the verdict, condemning the decision, according to CNN.

“No justice, no peace, no racist police!” the crowd chanted.

Leaders in Tulsa, Oklahoma have urged for peace after the verdict. “This verdict does not alter the course on which we are adamantly set,” Mayor G.T. Bynum said in a news conference, according to the Associated Press.

“It does not change our recognition of the racial disparities that have afflicted Tulsa historically. It does not change our work to institute community policing measures that empower citizens to work side by side with police officers in making our community safer.”

 

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