Minnesota officer charged in Castile shooting goes on trial


Yanez's trial begins Tuesday at 9 a.m. with jury selection.

Jury selection began in St. Paul today in the trial of a police officer charged with killing a black man he pulled over.

Defense attorneys for a Minnesota police officer charged in the fatal shooting of a black motorist are asking that statements about the driver's permit to carry a gun be omitted from trial.

Yanez is charged with second-degree manslaughter and two counts of unsafe discharge of a firearm for endangering the vehicle's passengers. "I did it so the world could know these police are not here to protect and serve us", Reynolds said the next day.

Authorities also have audio and video from Yanez's squad vehicle that haven't been made public.

Jurors acquitted white Tulsa, Oklahoma, police officer Betty Jo Shelby of manslaughter on May 17 after she testified that she fatally shot Terence Crutcher, an unarmed, black 40-year-old, out of fear when he didn't obey her commands.

Reynolds live-streamed the shooting's aftermath on Facebook. As of press time, 49 prospective jurors were provided with questionnaires to fill out ahead of tomorrow's jury selection.

They will be questioned individually starting Wednesday. In the courtroom this morning, 50 jurors took an oath to fairly consider the case.

Meantime, protesters demanding the officer be charged spilled onto Interstate 94, leading to police injuries and arrests.

Yanez is facing a maximum penalty of 10 years for the manslaughter charge and a maximum sentence of five years each for the firearm charges.

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Protests over Castile's death shut down highways in the Minneapolis-St. Castile's family claimed he was profiled because of his race, and the shooting renewed concerns about how police officers interact with minorities.

The Washington Post, which has tracked fatal police shootings since 2015, estimates that charges are filed against officers in less than 1 percent of fatal shootings.

NELSON: Jury selection is set to resume tomorrow, and the trial is expected to take at least three weeks.

Yanez, 29, goes to trial in Ramsey County District Court on Tuesday on three felony counts in the shooting of Castile, 32, including second-degree manslaughter and two counts of unsafe discharge of a firearm. The graphic video showing Castile's final moments after Jeronimo Yanez shot him made headlines almost a year ago, and led to calls for changes in policing. In both videos, the two can be heard arguing over whether or not Castile was reaching for his gun (which he admitted to having) or his ID. Her 4-year-old daughter watched from the back seat.

St. Anthony police officer Jeronimo Yanez, center, his attorney Tom Kelly, right, stand outside the Ramsey County Courthouse while waiting for a vehicle, Tuesday, May 30, 2017, in St. Paul, Minn.

The evidence in Yanez's case is different, but a common theme in the prosecution of officers nationwide is that jurors are reluctant to punish officers for doing a unsafe job, said local law professor Joseph Daly, who has arbitrated police firings and discipline cases across the country. Thompson said they decided not to attend the jury selection but plan to be there when testimony starts.

Castile, who was black, was killed July 6 during a traffic stop in the St. Paul suburb of Falcon Heights.

Castile's girlfriend, Diamond Reynolds live-streamed the aftermath of her boyfriend's shooting on Facebook.

Prosecutors have said that Castile was reaching for his wallet when Yanez fired at him.

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