ST. ANTHONY, Minn. – Officer Jeronimo Yanez left the St. Anthony police force under a separation agreement Tuesday.
Yanez became infamous within Minnesota after his shooting of African-American motorist Philando Castile, which was live streamed on Facebook by Castile’s girlfriend Diamond Reynolds. The subsequent trial acquitted Yanez of criminal prosecution for the shooting, though a government report indicated that it thought Yanez had acted “recklessly.”
According to CBS, the separation agreement stipulated that Yanez was to receive $48,500 in a lump sum (before tax deductions). However, the agreement also reveals that Yanez would receive payment for 600 hours worth of personal leave time. The agreement does not indicate how much personal leave time Yanez accrued.
According to CBS, Yanez was given 10 days to consider and sign the agreement and will have 15 days following the signing of the agreement to cancel it. This agreement was presented to Yanez on Friday, June 30.
The decision in the aftermath of both the shooting and court case to end Yanez’s relationship with the department via a separation agreement is an uncommon response.
According to a press release, “Since Officer Yanez was not convicted of a crime, as a public employee, he would have appeal and grievance rights if terminated.” The decision process to terminate Yanez was also touched on in the press release, stating that the decision was made “in order to serve the public interest and quickly assure the public that Officer Yanez will not continue as a St. Anthony police officer.”
The settlement agreement with Yanez could be interpreted as just one in a long line of actions by the City of St. Anthony to mitigate liability on the part of the city. On March 29, 2017, the city announced that it would be looking to transfer the “liability risks and costs associated with policing within Falcon Heights” back to Falcon Heights. Since then, Falcon Heights has been seeking new policing options, as St. Anthony has announced it will vote on whether or not to discontinue policing of Falcon Heights Tuesday evening.
According to the city website, the St. Anthony police department was in charge of policing within Falcon Heights for over 20 years.