Minnesota police officer Jeronimo Yanez was found not guilty Friday of manslaughter in the killing last year of a black man in a St. Paul, Minn., suburb.
Yanez was also found not guilty of all other charges he faced.
Yanez, while serving as an officer in St. Anthony, Minn., fatally shot Philando Castile, 32, during a July 6, 2016, traffic stop. The shooting’s gruesome aftermath was streamed live on Facebook by Castile’s girlfriend, who was with him in the car along with her young daughter. The woman said Castile was shot several times while reaching for his ID after telling Yanez he had a gun permit and was armed.
The shooting prompted numerous protests, including a weeks-long demonstration outside the governor’s mansion and one protest that shut down Interstate 94 in St. Paul, Minn., for hours.
Yanez testified that Castile was pulling his gun out of his pocket despite his commands not to do so. The defence also argued Castile was high on marijuana and said that affected his actions.
Castile had a permit for the weapon. Prosecutors questioned whether Yanez ever saw the gun, and they argued that the officer overreacted and that Castile was not a threat.
The jury for the case was composed of 10 white members and two black members.
In Minnesota, second-degree manslaughter, or involuntary manslaughter, carries a maximum prison sentence of 10 years.