A police officer in Nashville was fired for writing on Facebook the day after Philando Castile was shot, "Yeah. I would have done 5" – an apparent reference to the number of bullets fired that evening.
The Metro Nashville Police Department announced Officer Anthony Venable's termination Wednesday after a disciplinary hearing.
The chief of police, in a letter detailing Venable's posts, said the officer – on a public website, where it wasn't hard to learn he was law enforcement – also wrote:
- "He had a gun AND weed in the car. These officer [sic] will be fine."
- Said he was "trained by the best."
- And said, "... you don't shoot just one. If I use my weapon, I shoot to kill and stop the threat."
Then there was the "Yeah. I would have done 5," comment, in reply to someone saying the Minnesota police officer involved in the Castile incident shot four times. (Charges would later show it was actually seven.)
Venable said the post was made sarcastically, and just a general comment not about any specific incident.
"You did not act with integrity or common sense when you made the comment," the chief wrote. He later addressed the weed in the car comment, writing: "As a trained law enforcement officer, you should be aware that having a gun and 'weed' in the car could not be justification for the use of deadly force."
Investigators found levels of THC in Castile's blood following his death, and the officer who stopped him that evening said he smelled marijuana.
Venable's gun and badge were collected on July 7, the day he made the Facebook comment, and he hasn't been on street duty since then. He'd been with Nashville PD for nine years.
The same day Venable was dismissed, a judge in Minnesota decided the St. Anthony officer who shot Castile, Jeronimo Yanez, will go to trial on manslaughter charges.