Another day without a verdict in Philando Castile case

Philando Castile charity covers kids’ lunch debt
Philando Castile, a school nutrition supervisor, was killed by a police officer in 2016. A charity started in his honor is helping kids who can't pay for school lunch.

Jurors in the manslaughter trial of the Minnesota officer charged in Philando Castile’s death were dismissed after their fourth day of deliberations on Thursday.

The jury will reconvene Friday in the case against St. Anthony police Officer Jeronimo Yanez, who is charged in the 2016 shooting death of Castile.

Jurors have spent almost as many days deliberating as they have hearing testimony and reviewing evidence. Testimony began on June 5.

If convicted, Yanez faces up to 20 years in prison on charges from the July 6, 2016, shooting, which sparked nationwide protests and reignited a debate over use of excessive force by police after Castile’s girlfriend, Diamond Reynolds, broadcast the incident on Facebook Live.

Castile, who was bleeding heavily in the Facebook video, said he wasn’t reaching for his gun, which he had a permit to carry. Reynolds said Castile was reaching for his ID in his back pocket when he was shot.

Prosecutors have portrayed Yanez as a nervous officer who lost control of the traffic stop that day. He was too quick to fire after learning Castile had a gun, based on an unreasonable suspicion that he was a suspect in a robbery.

But Yanez’s lawyer argued that Castile reached for his gun after the officer ordered him not to.

An audio recording captured Castile telling Yanez he had a gun in the car, and the officer telling Castile not to reach for it. Seconds later, Yanez opened fire.

In the highly emotional trial, both Reynolds and Yanez cried on the stand during their testimonies.

Yanez also is charged with two counts of dangerous discharge of a firearm for allegedly endangering the lives of Reynolds and her 4-year-old daughter in the back seat. Yanez has been on paid administrative leave from the St. Anthony Police Department since the shooting.