St. Anthony Police Department officer Jeronimo Yanez poses for investigation photographs after he fatally shot Philando Ca...

Minnesota officer acquitted in fatal shooting of Philando Castile to receive buyout

The Minnesota officer who was cleared of all charges in last year’s shooting death of black motorist Philando Castile no longer works for the St. Anthony Police Department, officials announced Monday.

Following his removal from the department, Jeronimo Yanez will receive $48,500, according to details of the separation agreement reported by the Star Tribune.

Additionally, Yanez will be paid for up to 600 hours of unused personal leave pay. At the time of the shooting, Yanez was earning more than $72,000 a year, excepting overtime pay, documents showed, the Associated Press reported.

On the city’s official website, a statement posted Monday said that the agreement “ends all employment rights” of Yanez for St. Anthony, adding that this latest development “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,” statement continued.

The Tribune noted that the five-page agreement also “forever” releases St. Anthony from “all liability and damages and from all claims” by Yanez over Castile’s death, adding that the former officer has 15 days to rescind it as well. The agreement listed June 30 as the official date of separation between Yanez and the city.

In mid-June, a Minnesota jury acquitted Yanez, who is Latino, of second-degree manslaughter and other charges in the July 6, 2015, fatal shooting of 32-year-old Castile during a traffic stop.

The jury’s announcement came during a week of several, high-profile police shooting trials that ended with no convictions.

Why do so few trials of police officers charged in on-duty shootings end in convictions? Most recently, the officers who shot and killed Philando Castile and Sylville Smith were acquitted by juries who saw video of the fatal encounters. John Yang discusses issues of race and deadly force with David Klinger of the University of Missouri-St. Louis and Brittany Packnett, co-founder of Campaign Zero.

On the same day of the jury’s verdict, officials for the City of St. Anthony announced that Yanez would no longer be employed by its police department, saying that it will offer the ex-officer a “voluntary separation agreement” to help him transition to a different career.

“The City of St. Anthony has concluded that the public will be best served if Officer Yanez is no longer a police officer in our city,” the city said in a statement at the time.

Shortly after the trial, it was announced that Castile’s mother, Valerie Castile, reached a $2.995 million settlement with the city. The settlement is pending approval by a state court.

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