Advancement Project Statement on Verdict in Trial of Officer Jeronimo YanezA police officer claiming to be in fear when encountering a Black person should not be enough to justify taking a life.
WASHINGTON – Today, a jury in Minnesota found Officer Jeronimo Yanez not guilty of manslaughter in the July, 2016 killing of Philando Castile. Advancement Project, a national racial justice organization, released the following statement in response:
“Philando Castile will be in our memories forever. We watched him get killed by a police officer without provocation. We grieve for his family and community again, as justice has remained elusive. Time after time, Black people in this country have watched as police officers have taken Black lives, and moved on without being held accountable,” said Judith Browne Dianis, Executive Director of Advancement Project’s national office. “Today’s verdict is another cruel reminder that our criminal justice system is in desperate need of transformative and systemic changes. The deck is stacked against bereaved communities of color seeking justice for loved ones killed by police. We must continue to fight for accountability.”
“A police officer claiming to be in fear when encountering a Black person should not be enough to justify taking a life. The lack of justice that comes with every “not guilty” verdict, mistrial, and non-indictment, continues to cultivate disillusionment in communities of color. As we move forward in our ongoing quest for justice, our hearts are with Diamond Reynolds, her daughter, and the rest of Philando Castile’s family.”
Advancement Project is a multi-racial civil rights organization. Founded by a team of veteran civil rights lawyers in 1999, Advancement Project was created to develop and inspire community-based solutions based on the same high quality legal analysis and public education campaigns that produced the landmark civil rights victories of earlier eras.