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Minn. Cop Who Shot Philando Castile Heads to Trial

Philando Castile Photo courtesy of Facebook

The Minnesota police officer who fatally wounded Philando Castile during a routine traffic stop last year will head to trial Tuesday.

USA TODAY reports that jury selection is currently underway and is expected to last for a couple of days.

Castile, who was Black, died on July 6 after being pulled over in Falcon Heights–a suburb of St. Paul, Minnesota. His death was recorded via Facebook Live by his girlfriend, Diamond Reynolds, who was in the car with him.

Reynolds’ 4-year-old daughter was also in the vehicle at the time of the shooting.

Yanez is of Latino descent. He is charged with second-degree manslaughter, which is punishable by up to 10 years in prison. He’s also facing two lesser counts of endangered safety by discharging his firearm near Reynolds and her daughter.

Yanez is charged under a statute that requires prosecutors to prove he acted with culpable negligence, meaning that he was reckless and acted unreasonably for the situation.

Attorneys representing Yanez argued he reacted to the presence of a gun and had to use deadly force to protect himself.

Just two weeks ago, jurors acquitted Tulsa police officer Betty Shelby of manslaughter in the fatal shooting death of 40-year-old Terence Crutcher on September.

Last week, Shelby was awarded $35,000 in back pay for time missed during the investigation.

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