The Minnesota police officer who fatally shot Philando Castile — a black male — during a traffic stop last year was found not guilty of second-degree manslaughter Friday.
Jeronimo Yanez, an officer with the St. Anthony Police Department, was also acquitted of two counts of intentional discharge of firearm that endangers safety.
The aftermath of Castile's death was broadcast on Facebook Live by his girlfriend, who was in the car, along with her 4-year-old daughter — the video immediately went viral.
Castile, a 32-year-old school cafeteria worker, was pulled over by Yanez and another officer on July 6, 2016, in Falcon Heights, Minn.
After being asked for his license and registration, Diamond Reynolds said Castile told the officer he was licensed to carry a weapon and was armed. As he reached for his ID, which was in his pants, Reynolds said Yanez shot at Castile seven times.
Reynolds then began streaming her video on Facebook Live, which lasted for 10 minutes. It showed Castile slumped over and bloody. Reynolds can be heard narrating what happened, at one point saying Yanez "asked him for license and registration. He told him that it was in his wallet, but he had a pistol on him because he's licensed to carry."
"You shot four bullets into him, sir. He was just getting his license and registration, sir," Reynolds is heard on the video saying, then adding: "Please don't tell me he's dead."
"I told him not to reach for it! I told him to get his hand open!" Yanez exclaims back.
The jury, which was comprised of seven men and five women, including two black people, deliberated for 27 hours over five days.
Yanez, 28, took the stand to testify that he fired at Castile because he feared for his life.
"I thought I was going to die," Yanez said in court on June 9. "I had no other choice. I was forced to engage Mr. Castile. He was not complying with my directions."
Yanez's attorney asked him if he wanted to shoot Castile.
"I did not want to shoot Mr. Castile at all," he said after beginning to cry. "Those were not my intentions."
Following the shooting, hundreds of people gathered at the scene of the shooting to protest the shooting. Then, the protestors moved to gather outside Gov. Mark Dayton's official residence, where they stayed into the night, remaining loud, but for the most part, peaceful. There were a handful over other protests in the week following.
"There has always been a systemic problem in the state of Minnesota, and me thinking, common sense that we would get justice. But nevertheless the system continues to fail black people," Valerie Castile, Philando's mother, said Friday after the verdict was read. "I am so disappointed in the state of Minnesota. My son loved Minnesota. He had one tattoo on his body and it was of the Twin Cities. My son loved this city, and the city killed my son and the murderer gets away."
Castile's death occurred in the same week as that of Alton Sterling, a 37-year-old black man who was shot by police officers in Baton Rouge, La. Charges were not brought against the two white officers by the Justice Department, but they are still under investigation by the state of Louisiana.