MINNEAPOLIS (WCCO) — The dramatic video played in real time for tens of thousands across the country.
The world watched on July 6, 2016, as Philando Castile lay in the driver’s seat of his car, shot by St. Anthony police officer Jeronimo Yanez.READ MORE: COVID In Minnesota: 632 New COVID Cases, 6 More Deaths
“Stay with me. We got pulled over for a busted taillight in the back and the police, just, he’s covered,” Reynolds said.
As Castile was reaching for his wallet, he told officers that he had a weapon in his possession, and a conceal permit, Reynolds said. It was then that Yanez shot him.
“I told him not to reach for it! I told him to get his hand out,” Yanez said in the video.
“You told him to get his I.D., sir, his driver’s license,” Reynolds replied. “Please don’t tell me, please don’t tell me my boyfriend is gone. Please don’t tell me he’s gone. Please Jesus, no. Please, no. Please, no. Don’t let him be gone, Lord.”
Reynolds’ 4-year-old child could be heard from the back seat.
Castile’s family rushed to Hennepin County Medical Center. It was there news outlets learned the 32-year-old worked as a cafeteria supervisor at JJ Hill Montessori in St. Paul.
“He’s never been in no trouble. He did everything by the law and he died by the law, the hand of the law. He did everything he was supposed to as far as being a law abiding citizen,” Valerie Castile said.
Emotions ran high.
“It’s just, like, we’re animals,” Allyza Castile said. “It’s basically modern day lynching that we’re seeing going on, expect we’re not getting hung by a tree anymore; we’re getting killed on camera. And these officers are being able to go home to their family on paid leave.”
Here is a timeline of events in the Philando Castile case that followed the July 6 shooting:
July 7, 2016
Protestors gathered outside the governor’s residence, expressing outrage. It began a camp out that would go on for weeks.
Gov. Mark Dayton called for a Department of Justice investigation, along with the BCA investigation. He said it’s a hard truth Minnesotans must face.
“Would this have happened if those — the passenger, the driver — were white? I don’t think it would have, so I’m forced to confront, and I think all of us in Minnesota are forced to confront, that this kind of racism exists,” Dayton said.
The ACLU‘s Minnesota chapter countered that it didn’t want the BCA involved in the investigation into Castile’s death.
“We do not believe that the Bureau of Criminal Apprehension is that independent entity because the recent history of the BCA suggests that it is incapable of conducting a thorough and objective investigation into this tragic event,” ACLU executive director Charles Samuelson said.
The same day the president called the shooting troubling.
“They’re symptomatic of a broader set of racial disparities that exist in our criminal justice system,” President Barack Obama said.
News of Castile’s death spread throughout the world of social media, and notables were offering comment from every corner. And the police union urged everyone to not forget the right to due process for the officers involved.
In Dallas, a dozen officers were shot, five fatally, at a rally organized to protest the deaths of Castile and Alton Sterling in Baton Rouge, Louisiana. Reports said the sniper was angered over those shootings.
July 8, 2016
Black Lives Matter supporters condemned the violence in Dallas.
Ramsey County Attorney John Choi asked the BCA for a prompt and thorough investigation. He said it will be based on facts and a truthful pursuit of justice.
“If the grand jury determines that charges are warranted in this case or this office makes that decision, I assure you that we will prosecute this case to the fullest extent of the law,” Choi said.
Meanwhile, Rev. Jesse Jackson joined the movement. His attorney began representing Diamond Reynolds.
July 9, 2016
Protesters shut down traffic on Interstate 94, an incident that also led to reports of multiple officer injuries. Ultimately, more than 100 protesters were arrested. Among them was Castile’s cousin, who was charged with felony rioting.
The Minnesota Lynx stepped into the conversation, wearing special shirts intended to honor the victims of violence.
July 12, 2016
The Castile family hired TV Judge Glenda Hatchett. She called for a special independent prosecutor to handle the case.
“We are going to make sure that working class people have a legal dream team I will not rest until justice is done,” Hatchett said.
July 12, 2016
A week after his death, Castile’s casket was carried on horse-drawn carriage to the Cathedral of St. Paul. Friends, family and supporters walked along in the procession.
July 15, 2016
Minnesota officers returned to their post at Minnesota Lynx games, following their exit in response to the team’s jerseys honoring victims of police shootings.
July 26, 2016
Dozens were arrested at protests outside Gov. Dayton’s mansion.
July 29, 2016
The Ramsey County Attorney’s Office enlisted Don Lewis to work with his team of investigators. Lewis is a former assistant U.S. Attorney for Minnesota and a longtime civil rights lawyer.
“My hope whatever the outcome my work with John’s office will earn the confidence of the residents of Ramsey County and the State of Minnesota,” Lewis said.
Aug. 6, 2016
One month after Castile’s death, protesters continue their efforts.
Aug. 17, 2016
Officer Yanez briefly returned to work on limited duty. That lasted only a week.READ MORE: Woman, 40, Arrested In Ex-Husband's Death And Charged With 2nd Degree Murder
Aug. 24, 2016
The city of St. Anthony said it decided to put Yanez back on administrative leave “after reviewing concerns and other feedback from the community.”
Sept. 1, 2016
The ACLU sues the city of St. Anthony to get squad car video footage of Castile’s shooting, arguing that the public has the right to access that footage, and withholding it is in violation of the Minnesota Government Data Practices Act.
Sept. 3, 2016
Castile was laid to rest at the Calvary Cemetery in Missouri, following a memorial at the Ronald L. Jones Funeral Chapel in St. Louis. A group of individuals stood on the spot where he was killed, near the Minnesota State Fairgrounds in Falcon Heights.
Sept. 6, 2016
A new school year begins at JJ Hill Montessori, a day school officials spent significant time preparing to handle.
Sept. 28, 2016
The BCA turned over their findings to Ramsey County Attorney’s Office. Choi’s office had been reviewing the case for the six and a half weeks. In a statement, Choi said that his office was “in the process of engaging national use-of-force consultants to assist in our prosecution review and evaluation of the BCA investigation.”
Nov. 16, 2016
Choi’s office charges Yanez with second-degree manslaughter, deciding not to bring the case to a grand jury.
“Philando Castile was not resisting or fleeing,” Choi said. “He volunteered in good faith that he had a firearm, beyond what the law requires. Based upon our thorough and exhaustive review of the facts, I have come to the conclusion that there simply was no justification for the use of deadly force by Officer Yanez in this case.”
The manslaughter charge carries a maximum penalty of 10 years in prison. Yanez is also charged with two felony counts of dangerous discharge of a weapon, for endangering Reynolds and her daughter.
However, some protesters took to the streets of St. Paul after the decision, saying that the charges didn’t go far enough.
Nov. 17, 2016
Yanez turns himself in. Choi chooses not to place him under arrest, trusting that he’ll appear in court.
Nov. 18, 2016
Yanez pleads not guilty to the manslaughter charge. Judge Mark Ireland grants him release without bail, citing Yanez’s clean record and employment as a police officer.
Ramsey County prosecutors don’t argue the request, but community members express anger over the decision.
Dec. 15, 2016
The Department of Justice announces it will conduct a comprehensive review of the St. Anthony Police Department.
The review came at the request of city leaders, who sought to maintain a sense of trust with the community.
For the next several months, federal officials would review traffic stop data, hiring practices and hold listening sessions with residents.
Dec. 23, 2016
Yanez’s lawyers remove Ramsey County District Court Judge Edward Wilson from the case. He is replaced by Judge William Leary days later.
Under Minnesota law, attorneys from both the prosecution and defense can strike one judge from a criminal case without giving a reason.
Jan. 12, 2017
Lawmakers in the Republican-controlled Legislature introduce bills that would crack down on protesters who block freeways.
This comes after riot charges are dismissed against more than 40 people who were arrested while blocking traffic for hours on Interstate 94 following the Castile shooting.
The proposed legislation seeks to increase penalties for highway protesters and, in some cases, put them on the hook to cover extra security costs. While the bills make some progress during the legislative session, they do not pass.
One of the bill’s authors, Rep. Nick Zerwas (R-Elk River), say at the end of the session that remains concerned about future disruptive protests, especially since the Super Bowl is coming to Minneapolis in 2018.
Feb. 27, 2017
The trial is slated to start on March 30. Before the judge, Yanez pleads not guilty to all charges.
Later, Yanez’s attorneys request a change of venue, arguing that the extensive media coverage of the shooting could not guarantee Yanez a fair trial in Ramsey County.
The request is denied and a follow-up appeal rejected.
March 3, 2017
Diamond Reynolds is arrested in connection with a hammer attack on a woman in St. Paul. She is charged with two counts of assault.
In court, she pleads not guilty.
The case is handled by the Washington County Attorney’s Office to avoid a conflict of interest with Ramsey County.
May 29, 2017
The court eventually whittles down the pool to 15 jurors, three of which are alternates.
Of the jurors, only two are black. The rest are white. None identify as Latino.
June 5, 2017
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After days of deliberation, the jury returned a verdict of not guilty on all counts.