By Amber Randall, DCNF
The only two black jurors in the Philando Castile case were in favor of acquitting the cop responsible for his death, a juror explained Friday.
Dennis Ploussard, one of the twelve jurors, said that the jury was broken down 10-2 for acquitting Officer Jeronimo Yanez of his manslaughter charges — 10 jurors were in favor of clearing Officer Yanez and the other two were unconvinced.
The two holdouts were not the only black members on the jury, Ploussard told the Associated Press. The jury discussed the “culpable negligence” for the manslaughter requirement, he said. Eventually, the two unconvinced came to agree to acquit Yanez.
Yanez shot Castile seven times after he pulled him over for a broken tail light. Yanez claimed that Castile was reaching for his gun, although prosecution argued that Yanez acted too hastily in the exchange.
Yanez’s defense lawyers pointed to Castile’s previous drug use when arguing their case.
“None of this would have happened but for Philando Castile,” defense attorney Earl Gray said. “[Yanez] sees the gun and [Castile] doesn’t follow orders. That’s enough to pull your gun out and end the threat.”
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