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Police officer acquitted in shooting of black Minnesota man gets pay off

Jeronimo Yanez is to leave the St. Anthony Police Department with a roughly $50,000 settlement pay out. The police officer was cleared in the fatal shooting of Philando Castile, which was streamed online.

Social media saw a wave of anger early on Tuesday as news spread that Minnesota police officer Jeronimo Yanez would leave his job with a $48,500 (42,500 euros) lump sum along with up to 600 hours of unused compensatory time.

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"Not only can you get away with killing a black man, you get paid for it as well," tweeted Kod Amoah from Boston, Massachussets, an activist with the Black Lives Matter movement.

While R. Paine from Orange County, California said: "The cop that killed #PhilandoCastille is being paid a $48,500 bounty to go away quietly, this is why black lives don't matter to cops."

Yanis, who is Latino, was acquitted of manslaughter last month in Castile's death.

He shot the 32-year-old elementary school cafeteria worker several times during a traffic stop after Castile told the officer he was armed with a weapon he had a permit for.

 Philando Castile USA (picture alliance/AP Images/S.Takushi)

Yanez was charged with second-degree manslaughter and two other felonies in the death of 32-year-old Castile

Yanez testified in his defense that Castile ignored his commands not to pull out the gun and he feared for his life.

Video of shooting widely shared

The death of Castile - one in a series of high-profile shootings of African-Americans by police - stunned the nation after Castile's girlfriend, who was in the car along with her then-4-year-old daughter, live streamed its gruesome aftermath on Facebook.

His acquittal led to days of protests, including one in St. Paul that shut down a major highway for hours and ended with 18 arrests. At a recent city council meeting, residents of St. Anthony called on the city's mayor to resign.

Read more: US probe slams Chicago police for 'use of excessive force'

On the day of the verdict, the city of St Paul announced the "public will be best served" if Yanez were no longer an officer.

The city said Monday that the agreement "ends all employment rights" for Yanez.

"Since Officer Yanez was not convicted of a crime, as a public employee, he would have appeal and grievance rights if terminated," it said in a statement. "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."

Castile's family have reached an almost $3 million settlement with the city of St. Anthony.

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mm/gsw (AFP, AP)

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