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The Minnesota police officer acquitted in the shooting death of Philando Castile is set to receive $48,500 in severance pay from his department, according to a separation agreement announced Monday.
Former Officer Jeronimo Yanez will receive the payout from St. Anthony Police Department in a lump sum, according to the Associated Press, withholding unspecified deductions and state and federal taxes. The department will also pay Yanez for an unspecified amount of unused personal leave time, though the agreement states the payment can be up to 600 hours.
Yanez, who shot Castile during a traffic stop in July 2016 resulting in Castile’s death, was acquitted of manslaughter and related charges in June. His now-former police department announced on the day of his acquittal that the “public will be best served” if Yanez was no longer a police officer.
Yanez joined the police department in November 2011, and at the time of the shooting had an annual salary of more than $72,600.
“Since Officer Yanez was not convicted of a crime, as a public employee, he would have appeal and grievance rights if terminated,” a department statement read. “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 community-wide healing process proceed.”
The agreement comes days after the National Rifle Association broke silence on the death of Castile, who was in lawful possession of a handgun at the time of his death.
The NRA, largely remaining silent on Castile’s death aside from one Facebook post, has been often criticized by the left for not speaking out more on the police-involved shooting of a licensed gun owner. However, during a July 9 CNN segment discussing an NRA advertisement accused of inciting “civil war,” NRA spokesperson Dana Loesch broke the organization’s silence.
When pressed by Tamika Mallory of the Women’s March, Loesch called Castile’s death “absolutely awful” and “a terrible tragedy that could have been avoided.” However, Loesch proceeded to discuss the NRA’s carry guard solution, which she said informs citizens and law enforcement about what to do during a traffic stop involving a licensed gun owner.
“I don’t agree with every single decision that comes out from courtrooms of America. There are a lot of variables in this particular case, and there were a lot of things that I wish would have been done differently,” Loesh said. “Do I believe that Philando Castile deserved to lose his life over a stop? I absolutely do not.”
Samantha Grasso is a former IRL staff writer for the Daily Dot with a reporting emphasis on immigration. Her work has appeared on Los Angeles Magazine, Death And Taxes, Revelist, Texts From Last Night, Austin Monthly, and she has previously contributed to Texas Monthly.