Fate of Cop Who Killed Castile in Jury's Hands


The Minnesota police officer charged with fatally shooting a black motorist during a traffic stop a year ago, the aftermath of which was streamed on social media by the driver's girlfriend, was not justified in firing his gun, prosecutors said on Monday.

Yanez testified Friday that he stopped Castile in the St. Paul suburb of Falcon Heights because he thought Castile looked like one of two men who had robbed a nearby convenience store a few days earlier.

Seventy-four seconds is the amount of time that elapsed between the moment Yanez turned on his squad auto lights to the moment he fired the seventh and final shot into Castile's vehicle. Castile's gun permit was later found in his wallet.

The manslaughter trial went to a jury after both sides gave closing arguments Monday. Jurors are set to return to the Ramsey County Courthouse Tuesday morning to continue their work.

Castile responded, "I was reaching", but before he finished, Yanez, with right hand on his holster, said, "Don't pull it out".

ST. PAUL, Minn. (AP) — A Minnesota police officer who fatally shot a black motorist seconds after the man informed him he was carrying a gun "did what he had to do" in a thoroughly justified use of force, a defense attorney argued during closing arguments. It also recorded statements Yanez made to a supervisor soon after the shooting in which he said variously that he didn't know where Castile's gun was and that he told him to keep his hand off it.

Yanez's backup testified that Yanez told him he saw a gun.

There's just too much doubt to whether or not Yanez saw Castile's gun, Paulsen told the jury.

He told the jury "drugs and guns don't mix", and that Castile being stoned contributed to his failing to follow Offier Yanez's command not to reach for the gun.

"You didn't say firearm", Assistant Ramsey County Attorney Rick Dusterhoft said of Yanez's BCA interview.

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Gray was more emphatic in his argument, calling the state's argument "unfair", especially their claim that there is zero evidence Castile was pulling out his gun out of his right pocket.

Valerie Castile, the mother of Philando Castile, posted a seven-minute video on Facebook.

So what are the legal standards that the jury will have to consider as they begin deliberations? There is shouting, and Yanez screams "Don't pull it out!" before he fires seven shots into the auto.

That is not a crime and nothing in case law says that police officers must start from the lowest use of force option, especially when a gun is at play.

The shooting drew widespread attention because Castile's girlfriend livestreamed the aftermath on Facebook.

In his rebuttal, Paulsen reiterated to jurors that there was no credible evidence Castile was under the influence of marijuana and one can not conclude he was under the influence simply because THC was in his system. He also cited testimony from first responders who saw Castile's gun in his pocket as he was loaded onto a backboard.

Yanez, who is Latino, is charged with second-degree manslaughter, punishable by up to 10 years in prison, and with two lesser counts of endangering the safety of Reynolds and her daughter for firing his gun into the vehicle near them.

"Culpable negligence" is a high standard, the jury instructions stated: More than ordinary or "gross" negligence, "It is gross negligence coupled with an element of recklessness".

After the three alternates were excused Monday, the jury consisted of two African-Americans and 10 jurors who appear to be white.