Officer Who Shot Philando Castile Pleads Not Guilty

The officer is going to argue that he feared for his life in the encounter.

On July 6, 2016, Philando Castile was fatally shot by officer Jeronimo Yanez. Now, Officer Yanez is pleading not guilty to second-degree manslaughter and two other related charges.

Back in July, video of Castile's death was caught on video by his girlfriend and widely shared on social media. Castile's daughter was in the back seat of the car when he was shot.

According to NPR, earlier this month a judge denied requests to have all charges against Yanez dropped. The trial is now set for May 30th. Yazen will be arguing that he feared for his life, leading him to shoot Castile, who he claims had a gun in his hand at the time. Castile's girlfriend says he was reaching for his driver's license. 

"That's his right, to plead not guilty," John Thompson, a friend of Castile, said to CNN. "It is what it is, we want everything to be fair and just."

Yanez is next due in court for a hearing on trial motions on April 4th. 

[Photo: Ramsey County, Minn., Sheriff’s Office]