The Minnesota cop who fatally shot Philando Castile during a traffic stop last July will receive $48,500, as well as any unused personal leave pay, as part of a voluntary separation agreement announced Monday.
The officer, Jeronimo Yanez, 29, was dismissed from his position at the St. Anthony Police Department in June after he was acquitted of all charges related to Castile’s death. At the time, the department released a statement that said a separation agreement would be reached that would “help [Yanez] transition to another career,” but that agreement apparently also included a significant severance payment.
Yanez will recieve the $48,500 in the form of a lump sum payment, in addition to up to 600 hours of accumulated personal leave pay, according to city documents obtained by USA Today. The documents did not say the amount of leave time Yanez had accrued.
“The City has entered into a separation agreement that ends all employment rights of Officer Yanez at the City,” St. Anthony officials said in a press release issued on Monday. “Since Officer Yanez was not convicted of a crime, as a public employee, he would have appeal and grievance rights if terminated. A reasonable voluntary separation agreement brings to a close one part of this horrible tragedy.”
“The City concluded this was the most thoughtful way to move forward and help the community-wide healing process proceed,” the statement added.
By signing the separation agreement Yanez waived his grievance rights, but the language of the agreement stipulates that the former officer’s decision to sign does not constitute any admission of wrongdoing on his part.
According to the website of the St. Paul Pioneer Press, Yanez is barred from disclosing the details of the agreement to anyone outside of his immediate family, attorneys and financial advisers. The agreement lists the officer’s official date of separation as June 30, 2017.
Yanez shot Philando Castile, 32, during a routine traffic stop last summer. While the incident appears to have stemmed from a failure in communication, many have protested the encounter as another example of police malfeasance.
The now former-officer, who started working for the department in 2011, was acquitted of second-degree manslaughter, as well as two lesser charges related to endangering Castile’s girldfriend and her young daughter, who were in the car at the time of the shooting, in June after a three-week trial.
Valerie Castile, the shooting victim’s mother, was awarded a $3 million settlement late last month, which precluded the possibility of a federal wrongful death lawsuit.
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