The city of St. Anthony, Minnesota reached a settlement agreement on Monday with the officer acquitted of fatally shooting Philando Castile, paying out $48,500 as part of the separation, the New York Daily News reports.
In a statement, the city said it made the agreement “to serve the public interest and quickly assure the public that Officer [Jeronimo] Yanez will not continue as a St. Anthony police officer.”
Mass protests reignited when a jury acquitted Yanez on June 16 of second-degree manslaughter and two counts of reckless discharge of a firearm.
During a routine traffic stop on July 6, 2016, Yanez opened fire on Castile, even though the Black motorist calmly told Yanez that he had a legal gun in his vehicle. The city paid nearly $3 million to Castile’s mother to settle the case.
“A reasonable voluntary separation agreement brings to a close one part of this horrible tragedy,” the statement continued. “The City concluded this was the most thoughtful way to move forward and help the community-wide healing process proceed.”
According to the Minneapolis Star Tribune, Yanez cannot sue the city under the terms of the agreement. He will also receive payments for up to 600 hours of accrued personal leave. He was earning $72,612.80 annually when he killed Castile last year.
Castile’s uncle, Clarence Castile, told the Associated Press that he’s pleased that Yanez is leaving the police force, and hopes he doesn’t join another police department. He added that the former office should be incarcerated.
Employment law professor David Larson told the AP that reaching a voluntary separation agreement is often the path of least resistance in these types of cases. Firing an employee under most collective bargaining agreements is complicated, requiring multiple steps before terminating the worker.
“Given the emotion that’s been involved with this and the public protests, St. Anthony is probably saying the most important thing to us is to wrap this up as quickly as we can,” Larson stated.
SOURCE: New York Daily News, Minneapolis Star Tribune, Associated Press
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