NAACP Also Issues Statement, Calls On Federal Prosecution Of Yanez

MINNEAPOLIS (WCCO) — Daily Show’s Trevor Noah says the National Rifle Association (NRA) has been “completely silent” when it comes to the case of Philando Castile, a lawfully armed man who was shot and killed by a Minnesota police officer at a traffic stop last year.

Officer Jeronimo Yanez shot and killed Castile after stopping his car in Falcon Heights last summer. Prosecutors charged the officer with manslaughter. He says he shot in self-defense. A jury Friday found Yanez not guilty on all three counts related to the shooting.

The July 6 shooting gained national attention after Diamond Reynolds — Castile’s girlfriend, who was in the car during the shooting — live-streamed the bloody aftermath on Facebook. That video, however, lacked the crucial key moments that led up to the shooting — the subject of much speculation and debate.

In a video posted to Facebook Tuesday, Noah says the NRA has been strangely silent on the Castile case.

“Yet, according to their rhetoric, this is everything they stand against, right?” Noah said. “An officer of the state depriving a citizen of his life because he was legally carrying a firearm?”

Noah goes on to say that it’s interesting that once race is involved, the only right the NRA believes in is the “right to remain silent.”

Watch full video below:

On Tuesday, the NAACP also released a statement on the verdict and called for federal prosecution of Yanez.

Here’s the statement in full:

On Friday, a jury acquitted Officer Jeronimo Yanez of second-degree manslaughter for the fatal shooting of Philando Castile, a 32-year-old Black man. The NAACP extends condolences to and stands in solidarity with the Castile family during this time of profound disappointment. Although the St. Anthony Police Department has made the important decision to terminate Officer Yanez’s employment, without a conviction justice has not been served.

The egregious facts of this case underscore the failures of the criminal legal system even in clear cut cases of police violence. Without provocation, Officer Yanez shot Philando Castile five times during a 2016 traffic stop. Officer Yanez’s statements at the scene contradicted his testimony and that of other witnesses, yet he was acquitted. This case makes it crystal clear that police officers may murder with impunity.

“Mr. Castile’s family has already lost their loved one to violence and now they are being denied justice. If Philando Castile was not safe driving his family to buy groceries, no one is safe,” said W.C. Jordan, State President of Minnesota NAACP. “Law enforcement has to begin to acknowledge the racism that many times shapes both their decisions and the outcomes that result from those decisions. Despite multiple discussions with state leaders on this issue and others, we have seen no change. Progress must start with accountability.”

The fatal shooting of Mr. Castile is another in the cascade of examples in the gut wrenching trend of assaults on civilians in which offending officers have not been held accountable. In the last 12 years, thousands have been killed by police officers. In the same time period, only five officers have been convicted of murder, and four of these convictions were overturned on appeal.

In many cases, officers have successfully claimed that they feared for their lives despite evidence that the victim posed no threat. This evasion of responsibility based on unsubstantiated fear is more than disheartening; it is dangerous for the Black community. Studies have affirmed the lived experience of generations, proving that Black men are perceived as dangerous, threatening, and violent. As a result, simply being a Black man in a police encounter can be a death sentence.

“The acquittal of Officer Yanez, coming on the heels of the acquittal of Betty Jo Shelby for the murder of Terence Crutcher, is an affront to justice, and a chilling reminder of the urgent need for reforms. We have seen this scenario play out too often, and we cannot accept the status quo: no accountability when our trust is betrayed and our lives are taken by the people who are sworn to protect and serve us,” said Leon Russell, Board Chairman of the NAACP.

Police violence cannot go unpunished. As a result, the NAACP calls for:

• The federal prosecution of Officer Yanez for civil rights violations
• A Department of Justice investigation for use of excessive force
• The State of Minnesota to enact immediate measures to provide greater transparency, accountability, and civilian oversight of police

Comments (6)
  1. Chip Drewry says:

    Why is this considered “news”? And the million dollar question is what does the NRA have to do with the Philando Castile shooting? You’re right! Absolutely nothing. So I ask WCCO, why did you even bother with this?

  2. So what! Officer Yanez had stopped dozens of lawful gun carriers. All with positive outcomes. Officer Yanez is a supporter of right to carry. The driver’s actions, facing arrest, along with his illegal drug impairment, caused
    his death. Four use-of-force instructors and the drivers permit teacher said the driver acted irresponsible and reckless. Why didn’t the prosecution call a case investigator from the BCA to the stand? This is creative, once again BIAS, news story.

  3. Also, the driver was NOT lawfully armed. His drug use made him unlawful.

  4. Tony Shope says:

    It does not go against everything the NRA stands for even in the slightest. The NRA states that being under the influence and in possession of a firearm is absolutely wrong. This was another good shoot by a officer. Sorry folks no matter how you try to spin it it is and shall remain a good shoot. I spent 26 years as a cop in one fashion or another. You perception when being pulled over by the police has zero affect on a lawful stop and in this case shoot. If an officer fears for his life or the life of others you are done, end of story etc. So as I posted earlier on my personal page here are the steps to take in a traffic stop whether your state say you do not have to inform or not.
    > Many police justifiable shootings have been in the news recent years.
    I would like to offer some advice as a retired police officer I call it rules of the weapon. Note: I only worked the street 12 years then I went to kick cages. I believe this still applies. Any of my active LEO friends/cousins please feel free to edit my public service announcement to fit today if it does not apply.
    When it comes to carrying a firearm concealed whether with a CCW, Active law enforcement or HR 218 like I do.
    1. Your wallet/purse which likely contain your drivers license and whatever you need to legally carry do not belong in your pocket or ladies in your purse.
    2. You need to be able while keeping your hands in sight to gather these things immediately and in plain view.
    a. Ideally this allows you to produce your concealed carry right permit (license to carry etc) long before the officer approaches your vehicle.
    b. Drivers License presented under the CCW license along with appropriate vehicle registration and proof of insurance.
    c. Once the officer has received the above please say something to the effect of (sir/ma’am) please notice the 1st thing on top is my right to possess a concealed firearm.
    d. Hands remain at 10 a.m. 2 p.m. on the steering wheel unless otherwise instructed by the officer.
    e. If an instruction is given to move repeat what you heard as an instruction. Then slowly execute the instruction.
    f. If directed to exit the vehicle. Explain something like this as you do it. I am going to remove my (choose your hand) and reach outside the vehicle to open the door release. Then further state I will not move until you give me permission officer.
    I have been stopped many times over the years and every officer has thanked me for being clear and concise. PS I lived through all of them if you did not notice 😉

  5. Lyle Aherns says:

    No one cares what anyone on the daily show spews…more and more people are tuning all the networks out

  6. Jeff Mannino says:

    CBS Local/WCCO carries the water without any shame or self awareness for the DFL and DNC.
    the “commentators” are mistaken for objective journalists. Its not their fault that we would think they would report equally.