Yanez back on paid leave after protests


People protesting Yanez’s return to work began to gather at the entrance to the community center in St. Anthony Village around 10:30 a.m. Friday, Aug. 19. Days later, the city decided to put Yanez back on leave.

The St. Anthony Village police officer who fatally shot Philando Castile during a traffic stop in Falcon Heights last month has been placed back on paid administrative leave after a brief return to work, which sparked public protests.

Though Jeronimo Yanez had not returned to patrolling the streets, his presence inside the police station led to an upset that prompted more than 100 people to show up to an all-day protest of his return Aug. 19. 

The group of protesters gathered peacefully at the entrance to the community center in the 3300 block of Silver Lake Road N.E. in St. Anthony Village in opposition to Yanez’s Aug. 17 return to work, just over a month after fatally shooting 32-year-old Castile.

The July 6 shooting of Castile, an African-American school cafeteria supervisor, has led to local and national protests and has become part of an ongoing discussion regarding police-community relations nationwide.

According to St. Anthony Police Chief Jon Mangseth, Yanez had not returned to patrolling the streets, but instead was working behind a desk, performing administrative tasks until the Minnesota Bureau of Criminal Apprehension investigation into the shooting was completed.

Individuals from various groups, including the St. Anthony Villagers for Action and Justice Occupation for Philando, were angered by the decision to allow Yanez to return to the department while the investigation into the shooting incident was still underway. 

On Aug. 24, St. Anthony announced that Yanez had been put back on administrative leave again, this time until the BCA investigation is finished.

“The decision to change officer Yanez’s status was made after reviewing concerns and other feedback from the community,” the city’s statement reads. “Out of respect to the sensitive nature of the tragic incident and the concerns from the community, the Mayor, City Council and City Manager have decided to make this change. 

“Officer Yanez’s status with the department will be reviewed when the investigation process related to the incident is complete.”

Once the BCA investigation is complete, the decision on whether Yanez will receive any criminal charges will be made by the Ramsey County Attorney’s Office. 

 

Jesse Poole can be reached at jpoole@lillienews.com or at 651-748-7815.

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