MINNEAPOLIS (KMSP) - Ramsey County Attorney John Choi on Wednesday announced his decision to charge St. Anthony Police Officer Jeronimo Yanez with second-degree manslaughter in the shooting death of Philando Castile during a traffic stop. Moments after the prosecutor announced his decision, Castile’s family gathered to voice their support and thank the Twin Cities community that pushed for justice.
“We’re here in solidarity, the family and I, to support that decision,” said Valerie Castile, Philando’s mother. “I want to let everyone know, and thank all organizations that stood behind us in support of the justice for Philando movement.”
Philando Castile’s mother, sister, and extended aunts and uncles welcomed the manslaughter charge, while acknowledging that their fight for justice is far from over.
“I’m just glad we came to this chapter,” Valerie said. “It is the beginning of a new, different chapter. We all hope and pray that the right thing is done in this issue.”
The Castile family is represented by attorney and national TV legal personality Glenda Hatchett.
“We see this as a historic decision,” Hatchett said.
Hatchett declared the charges filed against Officer Yanez as a potential landmark case for the entire country when it comes to police use of deadly force.
“What more could this young man have done that day?” Hatchett asked. “And it begs, begs the attention of this community and nation. This was not right.”
Hatchett explained if she were prosecuting the case, she would have sought a more severe charge than second-degree manslaughter and its 10-year maximum prison sentence.