Minnesota officer who fatally shot Castile takes buyout

Associated Press

MINNEAPOLIS — The Minnesota police officer who was acquitted in last year’s fatal shooting of black motorist Philando Castile has left the suburban police department where he served under a separation agreement.

The Minneapolis suburb of St. Anthony announced Monday that Jeronimo Yanez is no longer with the police department. The terms were not released, and neither the city nor Yanez’s attorney immediately responded to messages.

Castile, a 32-year-old elementary school cafeteria worker, was shot by Yanez during a traffic stop on July 6, 2016, after Castile told the officer he was armed. Castile had a permit for his gun. The shooting gained widespread attention after Castile’s girlfriend, who was in the car along with her then-4-year-old daughter, livestreamed its gruesome aftermath on Facebook.

Yanez, who is Latino, was acquitted of manslaughter and other charges in June. On the day of the verdict, the city announced the “public will be best served” if Yanez were no longer an officer.

The city’s statement Monday said the agreement “ends all employment rights” for Yanez.

“Since Officer Yanez was not convicted of a crime, as a public employee, he would have appeal and grievance rights if terminated,” the statement read. “A reasonable voluntary separation agreement brings to a close one part of this horrible tragedy. The City concluded this was the most thoughtful way to move forward and help the community-wide healing process proceed.”

Yanez had been with the St. Anthony Police Department since November 2011. His annual salary at the time of the shooting was more than $72,600, not including overtime pay, according to documents released by the city.

Yanez’s acquittal led to days of protests, including one in St. Paul that shut down Interstate 94 for hours and ended with 18 arrests. At a recent city council meeting, residents of St. Anthony called on the city’s mayor to resign.

After the trial, Castile’s mother, Valerie Castile, reached a nearly $3 million settlement with the city, precluding a wrongful death lawsuit.

The Associated Press examined several high-profile fatal police shootings and found severance or separation agreements for officers to be unusual. In some cases, officers were fired outright. In many cases where charges were not brought or officers were acquitted, they have remained on the job.

In the August 2014 shooting of 18-year-old Michael Brown, who was unarmed and black, Ferguson, Missouri, police officer Darren Wilson did not receive a severance package when he resigned. Wilson was not charged in Brown’s death, which led to months of sometimes violent protests and became a catalyst for the national Black Lives Matter movement. At the time of Wilson’s resignation in November 2014, the St. Louis suburb said it had cut ties with Wilson and he would not receive any additional pay or benefits. Wilson’s attorney said he chose to resign after threats were made against the police department.

Chicago officer Dante Servin resigned last year just days before a hearing to determine if he should be fired for the 2012 shooting of Rekia Boyd, an unarmed 22-year-old black woman. Servin, who was acquitted of involuntary manslaughter, has since asked for disability pay for post-traumatic stress disorder. A decision on whether he qualifies for that pay, which could amount to tens of thousands of dollars, is pending.

David Larson, an employment law professor at Mitchell-Hamline School of Law in St. Paul, said reaching a voluntary separation agreement can be simpler than firing a public employee like Yanez. Most collective bargaining agreements require several steps before someone can be dismissed. And if a dismissal is contested, there can be a lengthy grievance and arbitration process.

“Given the emotion that’s been involved with this and the public protests, St. Anthony is probably saying the most important thing to us is to wrap this up as quickly as we can,” Larson said.””

In this May 30, 2017, file photo, St. Anthony police officer Jeronimo Yanez stands outside the Ramsey County Courthouse while waiting for a ride in St. Paul, Minn. It was announced Monday, July 10, that Yanez, the Minnesota police officer acquitted in last year’s fatal shooting of black motorist Philando Castile, has left the police department where he served. (David Joles/Star Tribune via AP, File)

SportsPlus

McNeese Sports

Southland welcomes two new members

Local News

Supreme Court rules ex-presidents have broad immunity, dimming chance of a pre-election Trump trial

Business

Names in the News: People shaping the future of Lake Area business

life

On Campus: SW La. students recognized for achievements

Local News

How will Louisiana’s new Ten Commandments classroom requirement be funded and enforced?

Local News

Biden meets with his family amid pressures to step down after debate

Local News

Donation celebrated by Second Harvest, but volunteers are still needed

Local News

Grand Avenue Gym: DeQuincy landmark fading fast, group fighting to save it says

Local News

Beryl becomes major hurricane forecast to bring life-threatening conditions to Caribbean

life

Fourth of July festivities in Jennings will kick off with Stars and Stripes Festival

Local News

Ceremony held at Fort Johnson for deploying troops

Jim Beam

Jim Beam column:Don’t expect new candidates

life

SW La. nightlife calendar: There’s always something to do

life

USAF Band of the West making Lake Charles stop

high-school Sports

Upgrades planned for Jerry Simmons football stadium in Jennings

Crime

Lafayette teen charged in Ernest Street fatal shooting

Crime

6/28: Calcasieu Parish Sheriff announces arrest list

Local News

Longhorns make quite a statement to the SEC

Local News

Bicyclist fatally struck after allegedly running stop sign

Local News

PHOTO GALLERY: Stitch Guillory sworn in as sheriff

Local News

Sheriff Guillory: ‘I am living MLK’s dream’

Local News

Supreme Court allows cities to enforce bans on homeless people sleeping outside

Local News

Work begins on new artificial reef off Cameron coast to provide habitat

Local News

Trump, Biden square off for the first time in the 2024 election season