The head of the largest association representing Minnesota police officers said in a statement Wednesday that the “police community is disappointed by the charging decision in the Officer Jeronimo Yanez case.”
“But we are certainly familiar with and respect the judicial process,” said Dennis Flaherty, head of the Minnesota Police and Peace Officers Assocation, which represents Yanez. “We expect that Officer Yanez will enter a plea of not guilty and will fully litigate every issue within the case in a court of law.”
He added later in the statement that “No one can speak for Officer Yanez as to what he actually encountered and what he feared that evening. We hope all people can understand and refrain from judgment.”
A spokesman for the Minnesota chapter of the National Latino Police Association said his group “stands behind Officer Yanez.”
“We support him and he’s a good man,” said John Lozoya, who’s an officer with the St. Paul Police Department .
“Our biggest concern is that he receives a fair trial,” Lozoya said. “We don’t want outside influences trying to push the trial in a certain direction.”
St. Anthony Police Chief Jon Mangseth declined to comment and referred to a statement posted Wednesday on the city’s website.
“We are unaware of any additional facts beyond those that have been publicly reported. We have confidence that justice will be served,” the statement said. “Out of respect for the judicial process, the City intends to refrain from making any comments that could hinder a fair and impartial determination.”
Calls to the mayors of St. Anthony and Falcon Heights were not returned as of Wednesday afternoon.