Valerie Castile, the mother of Philando Castile, will receive a $3 million settlement from the city of St. Anthony, Minnesota, according to an announcement made jointly by attorneys for both she and the city.
The settlement agreement will mean that the city will avoid an even costlier wrongful death lawsuit in federal court for the shooting of Castile’s son by St. Anthony Police Officer Jeronimo Yanez during a traffic stop on July 6, 2016. Yanez claimed that the 32-year-old cafeteria worker resembled an armed robbery suspect and was reaching for a handgun.
Castile did have a gun on his person, however, he was licensed by the state of Minnesota to carry a firearm (which he apparently declared to the officer,) and his girlfriend (who live-streamed the aftermath on social media) said that he was reaching for his wallet. A jury acquitted Yanez on June 16 of second degree manslaughter and dangerous discharge of a firearm, both felonies, but the officer is being cashiered anyway because city leaders felt that “the public [would] be best served if Officer Yanez is no longer a police officer in our city.”
Castile and her attorney, Glenda Hatchett, had announced plans to file a lawsuit against the city at a rally in Minneapolis shortly after her son’s death. Although the settlement will require court approval, it appears to have put paid to that plan.
Bruce Krafft offered commentary about Yanez’s acquittal here and here. The reaction to the verdict from NRA commentator Colion Noir can be seen here. Sara Tipton brought a cop’s perspective to the case here. And, last year, when charges were filed against Yanez, I vainly hoped that the prosecution had more evidence up its sleeve than others had in past politically-charged cases.