Attorney for officer involved in the shooting of Philando Castile defends use of force

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MINNESOTA– Thomas M. Kelly, an attorney for Jeronimo Yanez, the police officer who fatally shot Philando Castile during a traffic stop in Minnesota this week, issued a statement on behalf of the officer.

“Officer Yanez is cooperating with the investigation and remains distraught in the wake of the shooting. He’s very upset about this terrible tragedy,” Kelly said.

Kelly wouldn’t discuss specifics about the night Castile was shot, only to say Yanez was reacting to the actions of the driver.

He added that Yanez has no disciplinary actions during his time with the St. Anthony department.

He asserted the incident had “nothing to do with race” and “everything to do with the presence of a gun”.

“Regrettably, the use of force became necessary in reacting to the actions of the driver of a stopped vehicle.” his attorney continued.

Kelly ended the statement saying, “Officer Jeronimo Yanez is deeply saddened for the family and loved ones of Philando Castile.”

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