Minnesota officer who fatally shot Castile back on leave

Aug 24, 2016

The Minnesota police officer who fatally shot a black motorist last month is back on administrative leave

MINNEAPOLIS — The Minnesota police officer who fatally shot a black man during a traffic stop last month is back on administrative leave after briefly returning to limited duty last week, the city of St. Anthony said in a statement Wednesday.

The city said it decided to put Officer Jeronimo Yanez back on leave "after reviewing concerns and other feedback from the community."

Yanez fatally shot 32-year-old Philando Castile during a traffic stop on July 6 in nearby Falcon Heights. Castile's girlfriend — who video streamed the shooting's gruesome aftermath live on Facebook — said Castile was shot several times while reaching for his ID after telling the officer he had a gun permit and was armed.

After Yanez returned to work last week, a group of protesters gathered at the police station, demanding he be charged. The Minnesota Bureau of Criminal Apprehension is investigating.

The city said Wednesday that it decided to put Yanez back on leave "out of respect to the sensitive nature of the tragic incident." The statement said Yanez's status with the police department will be reviewed after the state's investigation is complete.

Yanez's attorney said Wednesday that he was unaware of his client's status change with the police department.

Castile's death set off weeks of protests and calls for Yanez to be charged. It also put the collection of St. Paul suburbs that St. Anthony police serve in the group of communities dealing with officer-involved shootings of black men, which also include Baltimore, Milwaukee and Ferguson, Missouri.

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