On Friday, a jury decided to acquit the officer who shot Philando Castile on all charges in a decision that shocked many who followed the case. The Washington Post reported that the jury decision came almost a year after Castile's death.

What happened to Philando Castile?

On July 6, 2017, Philando Castile was pulled over while driving by Officer #Jeronimo Yanez. The stop occurred in Falcon Heights, which is a Minneapolis suburb. What should have been a routine traffic stop quickly escalated into something far worse because, as Yanez claimed after the stop, he believed that Castile matched the description of a robbery suspect police were looking for.

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Yanez claimed that he fired on Philando Castile during the stop because he believed that the victim was going for a gun. Castile's girlfriend, Diamond Reynolds, began live-streaming on Facebook after the gunshot and many literally watched the man die on social media. According to Diamond, the traffic stop went way different than Yanez claimed.

According to Diamond, the traffic stop went way different than Yanez claimed. She says that Castile never made any motions that would have or should have caused the officer to fear for his safety. It was widely reported at the time of #Philando Castile's death that he informed the officer that he was, in fact, licensed to carry a gun and had one in the glove compartment. However, he was reaching into his pocket to retrieve his identification for the officer, as requested, when shots were fired.

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Diamond Reynolds, Castile's family react to acquittal of Jeronimo Yanez

After learning that Jeronimo Yanez will not be punished for shooting Philando Castile, his family has made their feelings clear. Castile's mother spoke out, calling Yanez a murderer and making it clear that she believes her son was murdered by a police officer. Valerie Castile denounced the unanimous jury decision and declared, "The system continues to fail black people, and it will continue to fail you all."

Diamond Reynolds has also spoken out in the wake of the verdict. Diamond said that she is "extremely disappointed" in the verdict. Diamond contends that Philando Castile was pulled over because he "had a wide nose and looked like a suspect." Diamond and her 4-year old daughter were in the car with Philando when he was shot and witnessed the entire event.

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Why was Yanez acquitted?

In November, just 4 months after the shooting death of Philando Castile, Jeronimo Yanez was charged with second-degree manslaughter. At the time, it was reported that Yanez was charged in that manner to reflect that "no reasonable officer" would have also pulled the trigger given the same conditions. There were two additional felony counts against Yanez for firing his weapon intentionally.

During the trial, jurors heard testimony from both sides. Jeronimo Yanez testified and cried on the stand. He told the jury that he didn't want to shoot Philando but that he feared for his own life. Apparently, the jury believed Yanez despite testimony and evidence showing that Castile followed directions, he was not combative or confrontational with the officer and he even told Yanez that he was getting the identification that was requested.

Due to the shocking acquittal of Yanez, protesters have again taken a stand against police brutality and are speaking out about the acquittal of another police offer whom many believe overstepped his oath to protect and instead murdered someone for "fitting the description" of a suspect, or as many have pointed out, simply driving while black