BY CHAO XIONG
MINNEAPOLIS – The city of St. Anthony has entered a separation agreement with Police Officer Jeronimo Yanez, who was acquitted last month in the fatal shooting of Philando Castile.
“In order to serve the public interest and quickly assure the public that Officer Yanez will not continue as a St. Anthony police officer, the city has entered into a separation agreement that ends all employment rights of Officer Yanez at the city,” said a statement posted on the city’s website Monday afternoon.
“Since Officer Yanez was not convicted of a crime, as a public employee, he would have appeal and grievance rights if terminated.
“A reasonable voluntary separation agreement brings to a close one part of this horrible tragedy.
The city concluded this was the most thoughtful way to move forward and help the communitywide healing process proceed.”
Traffic stop fatality
Yanez fatally shot Castile during a traffic stop in 2016. During the traffic stop, Castile, a licensed gun owner, volunteered that he had a gun and moments later officer Yanez fatally shot Castile, who was seat belted in his car.
Yanez was charged with manslaughter in Castile’s death but was found not guilty by a jury.
(The 29-year-old officer will receive $48,500 as a buyout, according to the agreement. He will receive the money in a lump sum, minus applicable deductions and withholdings for state and federal taxes.)
Acquitted June 16
The city had issued a statement following Yanez’s acquittal on June 16 stating its intention to offer him a “voluntary separation agreement to help him transition to another career …”
The city’s attorney said in late June that terms of the separation agreement could not be made public at that time because it had not been finalized.
Phone and email messages left with the city’s attorney in the matter, City Manager Mark Casey and Mayor Jerry Faust were not immediately returned.