St. Anthony police officer who shot Philando Castile placed back on leave

The officer who shot and killed Philando Castile is back on administrative leave, the Village of St. Anthony confirmed in a statement Wednesday.. Officer Jeronimo Yanez originally returned to work on Aug. 15 to perform desk duties and other administrative work, but he has returned to leave "out of respect to the sensitive nature of the tragic incident and the concerns from the community."

St. Anthony Village statement (Aug. 24)

"The City of St. Anthony has changed Officer Jeronimo Yanez’s status with the city’s police department.  He will now return to administrative leave. The decision to change Officer Yanez’s status was made after reviewing concerns and other feedback from the community.  Out of respect to the sensitive nature of the tragic incident and the concerns from the community, the Mayor, City Council and City Manager have decided to make this change.  Officer Yanez’s status with the department will be reviewed when the investigation process related to the incident is complete."

Jeronimo Yanez attorney statement

Thomas Kelly told Fox 9 Yanez is disappointed in the decision to be put back out on leave and will patiently await the call to return to work. Yanez also says he remains appreciative of the support shown by the St. Anthony Police Department administration.

Protest at St. Anthony PD

“He should not have the opportunity to wear that uniform while this case is going on because my nephew doesn’t get the opportunity to come back and live right now," said Castile's uncle, Clarence, at a protest outside the St. Anthony Police Department last Friday, Aug. 19. "So he shouldn’t get the opportunity to be a police officer right now.” 

Why did Yanez return?

"The decision to allow Officer Yanez to return to limited duty was made after reviewing how other departments and agencies have handled comparable, difficult situations," the city said in a statement on Aug. 19. "A return to a limited administrative employment status is similar to what other agencies have done during a pending investigation."

The shooting of Philando Castile

Officer Yanez shot and killed Philando Castile, 32, during a July 6 traffic stop on Larpenteur Avenue in Falcon Heights. Castile's girlfriend, Diamond Reynolds, streamed the aftermath of the shooting live on Facebook. Reynolds said they were pulled over for a broken tail light and that Castile was shot while reaching for his ID after telling the officer he was armed and had a gun permit. Hennepin County records confirm Castile was issued a permit to carry on June 4, 2015.

READ MORE: Protests at St. Anthony Police Dept. as Officer Yanez returns