A Minnesota police officer who was acquitted in last year’s fatal shooting of Black motorist Philando Castile will receive US$48,500 as he leaves the suburban department that employed him at the time of the killing.
According to the agreement with the St. Anthony Police Department announced Monday, Jeronimo Yanez will be paid the money in a lump sum, minus applicable deductions and withholdings for state and federal taxes.
On July 6, 2016, Castile was shot dead in front of his girlfriend, Diamond Reynolds, and her four-year-old daughter by Yanez during a traffic stop after Castile told the officer he was armed in the suburban neighborhood of Falcon Heights in Saint Paul, Minnesota.
The shooting gained widespread attention after Reynolds livestreamed the aftermath of the shooting on Facebook.
Yanez, who is 29 and Latino, was acquitted of manslaughter and other charges in the shooting of Castile in June.
Since Officer Yanez was not convicted of a crime, as a public employee, he would have appeal and grievance rights if terminated,” the Minneapolis suburb of St. Anthony said in a statement on Monday.
“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.”
Under the agreement, the city is released from lawsuits by Yanez and will pay him for up to 600 hours of accrued and unused personal leave pay.
Castile’s uncle, Clarence Castile, said to the Associated Press that he is glad Yanez will no longer be an officer.
“He should be in jail,” the uncle said. “He’s like a fish that wiggled his way off a hook. … Hopefully he won’t be able to get a police job in the United States. Because he’s a poor example of a police officer.”
Last month, Castile’s mother, Valerie Castile, reached a nearly US$3 million settlement with the city, precluding a wrongful death lawsuit that could have taken years to resolve.