What's Next: Closing Arguments Scheduled in Yanez Manslaughter Trial

Jeronimo Yanez

Jeronimo Yanez

Officer Jeronimo Yanez was asked to clarify audio recorded at the scene. "I had no other choice ..." Another St. Paul firefighter testified previously that he saw a police officer reach "deep" inside Castile's pocket to retrieve it. "He was not complying with my directions".

According to Erdman, Yanez immediately told him that he mistakenly said "barrel" instead of "slide" during the BCA interview.

He faces one count of second-degree manslaughter and two counts of risky discharge of a firearm for endangering the lives of Castile's girlfriend, Diamond Reynolds, and her 4-year-old daughter when he fired seven bullets into the vehicle. The gun was found in Castile's pocket after the shooting.

Yanez is charged with manslaughter in the death last July of Castile, a 32-year-old school cafeteria worker, in a St. Paul suburb. He faces up to 10 years in prison if convicted of second-degree manslaughter.

Yanez's attorneys say the St. Anthony police officer made a reasonable split-second decision in the presence of a gun and fearing for his life.

Squad vehicle video of the encounter shows Yanez replying, “OK, dont reach for it then.” Castile started saying he wasnt reaching for it, but the officer interrupted and said, “Dont pull it out.”. The officer said he was on alert for a pair of suspects in a convenience store robbery and thought Castile resembled one of the suspects.

He radioed his partner, Joseph Kauser, to inform him that he was stopping the vehicle because the "occupants just look like people that were involved in a robbery", according to the Star Tribune.

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Video from Yanez's squad auto dashboard camera showed that he approached the driver's window while Kauser went to the passenger side and told Castile of his defective taillight.

Castile told Yanez he had a firearm, according to The Associated Press, and video shows Yanez telling Castile not to reach for it.

Asked to explain the recording, Yanez said: "What I meant by that was I didn't know where the gun was up until I saw it in his right thigh area".

Prosecutor Rick Dusterhoft asked Yanez about a statement to investigators that he saw the barrel of the gun before he fired. "My wife. My baby girl", according to the Minnesota Star Tribune. Dusterhoft said that was significant because it would have meant Castile had the gun all the way out of his pocket when he was shot.

Officer Jeronimo Yanez shot Philando Castile five times barely a minute after he approached the auto and Castile informed him he was carrying a gun.

"I don't know where the gun was. It was total disregard for my command".

"I was able to see the firearm in Mr. Castile's hand, and that's when I engaged him", Yanez told the jury. Squad auto video recorded him telling a supervisor after the shooting that he did not know where the gun was, although it also recorded him saying he told Castile to take his hand off it. Witnesses testified that the gun was in a pocket of Castile's shorts when paramedics removed him from his vehicle. The charge against the officer requires prosecutors to show Yanez acted recklessly and unreasonably given the situation. In the video, she claimed Castile had informed the officer about the firearm as well as his license to carry. Castile had a permit for the weapon. Castile had a permit for the weapon. Castile had told the officer moments earlier he was carrying a gun.

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The officer said he saw the man continue to go for the gun, so he chose to act fast and shoot.

A Castile family spokeswoman after court Friday said they would have no comment until after the verdict. "He's justified in [using deadly force], and he's trained to do so".

Defense attorneys argue that Castile was stoned at the time of the traffic stop and it influenced his response to the officer.

Reynolds testified that Castile had been trying to unbuckle his seat belt to get his wallet when Yanez shot him. The video went viral, sparking protests and renewing criticism of the use of deadly force by police, especially against African-American men.

When she took the stand on Tuesday, Reynolds was asked why she recorded the incident.

During the lifestream, Reynolds said, "police just shot my boyfriend for no apparent reason".

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