FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
Media Contact: President Jason Sole, firstname.lastname@example.org, 651-983-0982
Minneapolis NAACP unequivocally condemns acquittal of Officer Yanez in the killing of Philando Castile
The Minneapolis NAACP unequivocally and in the strongest possible terms condemns the acquittal of Officer Jeronimo Yanez on all charges related to his killing Philando Castile during a traffic stop.
This decision clearly illustrates the implicit bias and systemic racism that permeates our legal system. It should be unthinkable that Yanez would entirely escape accountability for his reckless and unjustified homicide, but this is what we have come to expect. This is how our system works.
This verdict cannot and will not produce justice.
Bias and shoddy decision-making have saturated this case from the beginning. Castile was stopped in the first place because Yanez saw his “wide-set nose,” or in the words of expert witness Jeffrey Noble, “because he was a black man.” Though Castile’s brake light was merely a pretext, defense attorneys repeatedly blamed Castile for his own death by saying he would still be alive if his light hadn’t been broken.
A juror who lied about sharing police advocacy posts was allowed to remain on the jury in spite of concerns expressed by prosecutors and the judge.
The defense relied on an expert witness who not only omitted crucial information on the stand, but also has an extensive track record of saying any and all police force is reasonable in numerous trials.
The jury was prevented from hearing most of Yanez’s BCA interview that contradicted his crafted witness stand narrative.
In any system that values equity and justice, this should have been the most clear-cut guilty verdict possible. Yanez racially profiled Castile, failed to follow protocol, panicked, and shot to kill.
Minnesota had a chance to deliver #Justice4Philando and instead Minnesota showed that black lives, in fact, do not matter here, and that police have free rein to kill us.