ST. ANTHONY, Minn. (KMSP) - The City of St. Anthony, Minnesota has confirmed Officer Jeronimo Yanez has returned to work in a "limited, administrative role," more than a month after fatally shooting Philando Castile during a traffic stop in Falcon Heights. In an interview with the Associated Press, Police Chief Jon Mangseth said Yanez returned to work on Wednesday, Aug. 17 to perform desk duties and other administrative work until the investigation is completed and charging decisions are made.
Statement from St. Anthony Village (Aug. 19)
"Officer Jeronimo Yanez has returned to active service with the St. Anthony Police Department on a limited, office duty schedule. His first day was August 15. He is working in a limited, administrative role until a decision related to the investigation in this case has been made. The Minnesota Bureau of Criminal Apprehension has not completed its investigation into the incident. When that is complete, we will review the information and respond accordingly. The decision to allow Officer Yanez to return to limited duty was made after reviewing how other departments and agencies have handled comparable, difficult situations. A return to a limited administrative employment status is similar to what other agencies have done during a pending investigation."
Protest at St. Anthony PD
A group of protesters gathered at the St. Anthony Police Department on Friday morning and said they intended to remain on the property through the afternoon. The group made signs protesting the killing of citizens by police, and said they hope to speak directly with Officer Yanez.
"He should not have the opportunity to wear that uniform while this case is going on because my nephew doesn't get the opportunity to come back and live right now," said Castile's uncle, Clarence. "So he shouldn't get the opportunity to be a police officer right now."
The protest spilled onto the street, bringing a couple of St. Anthony officers outside to ask the group to move back onto the grass.
The shooting of Philando Castile
Officer Yanez shot and killed Philando Castile, 32, during a July 6 traffic stop on Larpenteur Avenue in Falcon Heights. Castile's girlfriend, Diamond Reynolds, streamed the aftermath of the shooting live on Facebook. Reynolds said they were pulled over for a broken tail light and that Castile was shot while reaching for his ID after telling the officer he was armed and had a gun permit. Hennepin County records confirm Castile was issued a permit to carry on June 4, 2015.
Chief: Officer Yanez had sterling reputation
In his interview with the Associated Press, Chief Mangseth wouldn't say whether or not he thinks Officer Yanez should be charged or cleared in the case, but he said Yanez has a sterling reputation in his law enforcement career.
"He has a real sound ability when it comes to communicating and relating to people," Mangseth said. "He showed me that he could shine in that public eye."
AP EXCLUSIVE - Police chief defends officer in shooting of Philando Castile