Both St. Anthony Police Who Shot Philando Castile Were MNSU Grads 2010

police car

MANKATO GAZETTE—The two St. Anthony police officers patrolling Falcon Heights the day they pulled over Philando Castile and one fatally shot him were friends from college who both graduated the same year from Minnesota State University, Mankato (MNSU or known locally by many as just MSU).

Jeronimo Yanez and his partner, Joseph Kauser were the officers that pulled 32-year-old Philando Castille over. Diamond Reynolds alleges the stop was for a broken tail light but police have not yet provided a reason for the traffic stop. Yanez is the officer shown partially in the video, though clearly holding a firearm to a bloody and dying Castile. The video only clearly shows the immediate aftermath of the shooting. Reynolds explained her side of the story live on Facebook as Yanez was clearly in an emotionally shaken state. In fact, his attorney who says race was not a motivating factor for the Latino officer more than the presence of a gun said his client is a "sensitive" person and feels sad for Castile's family. This is all according to a recent report by NBC News, who obtained records from the university.

The turn of events in the last week involving citizens, police and deadly shootings has come to a major breaking point, with governors and city officials in three states, police departments and congress as well as the president all weighing in on this issue that has become a hotbed debate in the U.S. Protests are becoming commonplace weekly if not daily in the country. After two graphic videos, one released after another, showing officers fatally shooting African American men in Louisiana and Minnesota, a large protest in Dallas a day later turned into the scene of more violence as a gunman killed five Dallas police officers and injured several others. Again Sunday, protests of police violence turned violent this time in St. Paul. An officer's vertabrae was broken by a thrown cement block. Molotov cocktails, rocks, rebar and other debris were hurled at officers. Fireworks were also launched at them. Of course, many protestors were non-violent, but officers arrested more than 100 people at the protest. The man shot in Baton Rouge, Louisiana was Alton Sterling. The video was taken by a local store owner who gave the video to news outlets and the FBI rather than the local police.

MNSU, or MSU if you prefer, has a renowned law enforcement program. After the Jamar Clark shooting by police, protestors were shot by an individual who called a Mankato police officer who he was friends with. That officer encouraged the individual to turn himself in. His name is Allen Scarsella.

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