Slager’s trial ends in a mistrial
A mistrial has been declared in the case of Michael Slager, the officer who shot and killed Philando Castile during a traffic stop in 2016.
The ruling means the shooting will proceed as a prosecution case and not a trial.
A judge had granted a request by prosecutors to dismiss charges against the officer, who has been charged with second-degree murder and manslaughter in Castile’s death.
The verdict means the prosecution’s case will be dismissed as well.
A trial date for the second-chance officer has not yet been set.
The case will now move to a judge’s courtroom for sentencing.
A jury found the officer not guilty of second-handness and reckless homicide, but they found that he should have been indicted on second-homicide charges.
It’s unclear what role Slager may play in the prosecution, but in a tweet from his account he posted a link to the prosecution website and thanked the “vast majority” of jurors for their verdicts.
“Thanks for the incredible verdicts on my behalf, I will continue to represent the interests of the citizens of Minnesota,” he wrote.
A Minnesota police union official said the decision to dismiss the case is “good news for the officers and for the community.”
The ruling comes after the Minnesota Attorney General’s Office asked a judge in March to drop all charges against Slager.
He was arrested and charged with manslaughter and second-homicides.
He has pleaded not guilty.
Prosecutors had said that he would be able to argue that he had the “duty and responsibility” to stop Castile in a traffic violation because he had pulled over Castile and his girlfriend, Diamond Reynolds, who was not carrying a firearm.
In a statement at the time, the prosecutor’s office said that while the officers did not know that Reynolds was armed at the moment of the shooting, they were “reasonably confident” that she was armed when they confronted Castile.
Prosecutors argued that Slager “had no reasonable expectation of privacy” when he stopped Castile for a traffic infraction.
Castile, who is black, was carrying a pellet gun that prosecutors said was “intended for self-defense.”
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