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According to prosecutors, when Philando Castile was pulled over in July, he calmly told the officer he had a gun and was licensed to carry it.  However moments later, the officer fired shots, and Castile’s last words were: “I wasn’t reaching for it.”

On Wednesday, following an investigation by prosecutors, that officer was charged with second-degree manslaughter. It was concluded that Jeronimo Yanez was wrong to use his weapon in the traffic stop, in which Castile’s girlfriend streamed his final gruesome moments live on Facebook.

According to Ramsey County Attorney John Choi, prosecutors believe Castile never tried to pull his handgun from his pocket, and Yanez’s unreasonable fear did not justify the shooting.  The officer could face up to 10 years in prison if convicted.

On Friday, Yanez who worked in the Minneapolis suburb of St. Anthony, is scheduled to make his first court appearance.  His attorney, Tom Kelly, has said Yanez, who is Latino, was reacting to the presence of a gun.

Kelly has also said that one reason Yanez made the stop was because he thought Castile looked like a possible match for an armed robbery suspect.  On Wednesday, Choi confirmed that Castile was not a suspect in that robbery and Castile’s relatives have said they believe the 32-year-old elementary school cafeteria worker was racially profiled.

About 100 protesters gathered early Wednesday evening outside the JJ Hill Montessori School in St. Paul where Castile was a longtime cafeteria worker. Some carried signs that read “No Justice, No Peace” and “Black Lives Matter.” The group said they would continue to advocate for justice until the case is resolved.

Activist Loretta VanPelt told the crowd “We haven’t won the war, but we won a battle.”  Choi resisted pressure to turn the case over to a special prosecutor, however he added one to his team to get an outside perspective.

He said Wednesday that he reviewed the case himself instead of sending it to a grand jury in the interest of transparency.

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