MINNESOTA — Jeronimo Yanez, the Minnesota police officer who fatally shot Philando Castile during a traffic stop last year, was found not guilty of second-degree manslaughter Friday.
He also was acquitted of two counts of intentional discharge of firearm that endangers safety.
Castile’s death garnered widespread attention after his girlfriend broadcast the shooting’s aftermath on Facebook Live.
A jury deliberated for about 29 hours before reaching their verdict.
Yanez had been on trial for one count of second-degree manslaughter and two counts of intentional discharge of firearm that endangers safety because Castile’s girlfriend and her 4-year-old daughter were also in the car.
During the two-week trial, prosecutors portrayed Yanez as a nervous officer who lost control of his traffic stop. He was too quick to pull the trigger after learning Castile had a gun based on an unreasonable suspicion that he was a robbery suspect, prosecutors said.
Yanez testified he feared for his life because Castile reached for his firearm, despite being instructed not to do so.