The judge who will be presiding over the trial of Jeromino Yanez – the St. Anthony police officer charged with shooting of Philando Castile last year – doesn't want anyone making faces in the courtroom.
Judge William H. Leary III issued an order Thursday regarding courtroom conduct during the trial.
It includes a bunch of rules for how public and media attendees should act. No one can talk to the jurors, bring signs, or wear buttons expressing opinions about the trial.
Right below that rule is one that says people can't gesture, utter things, or even make facial expressions during the trial. That's because a "change of demeanor" could publicly show off your opinions or beliefs for what parties are saying, the order explains.
So you better have a real stone face if you plan on going, because excuses will probably just get you kicked out of the courtroom.
As the Star Tribune reports, most judges don’t file orders outlining proper courtroom etiquette. However, it is common for judges to ask attendees not to cause any disruptions.
Yanez's defense attorneys had tried to get the trial moved, arguing the publicity would make it impossible for the officer to get a fair trial. But Leary in April denied the request.
Yanez shot and killed Castile during a traffic stop last July 6, with the aftermath of the shooting livestreamed on Facebook by Castile’s girlfriend, who was next to him at the time with her child in the back seat.
Castile, a cafeteria assistant at a St. Paul school, had a firearm on him and a permit to carry. The officer said he believed Castile was reaching for his gun when he fired. Castile’s last words were: “I wasn’t reaching for it.”
In the wake of the shooting as protesters gathered outside his residence, Gov. Mark Dayton said he believed that race was a factor in Castile’s death, coming amid a backdrop of racial tensions nationwide between police and the black community.