Jeronimo Yanez, officer who killed Philando Castile, gets $48,500 in severance pay

Jeronimo Yanez, officer who killed Philando Castile, gets $48,500 in severance pay
July 6, 2016, dash cam video of then-Officer Jeronimo Yanez shooting Philando Castile in his vehicle. Uncredited/AP
July 6, 2016, dash cam video of then-Officer Jeronimo Yanez shooting Philando Castile in his vehicle. Uncredited/AP

Former St. Anthony Police Department employee Jeronimo Yanez, the officer recently acquitted of manslaughter in the 2016 shooting of black motorist and gun owner Philando Castile, will receive a $48,500 payout as part of his severance agreement.

The Associated Press reported Monday that the payment is in addition to “up to 600 hours” of accrued compensatory time, a total likely equivalent to several months’ salary.

Yanez opened fire on Castile after Castille allegedly informed Yanez that he was carrying a legally registered firearm. While prosecutors said Yanez unnecessarily opened fire on Castile while he was reaching for his license and registration, the defense argued Yanez feared for his life. The aftermath of the shooting, which was filmed by Castile’s fiancee Diamond Reynolds, showed Castile’s body slumped over while Yanez yelled at Reynolds to keep her hands where they were.

The shooting, yet another brutal example of the United States’ continued high rates of officer-involved killings, inspired widespread outrage — as did the verdict, which seemed emblematic of low levels of law enforcement accountability for violence. Even the normally right-wing National Rifle Association, a lobbying group for gun owners, was forced to concede the shooting could have been avoided.