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BCA releases dashcam video, other evidence from Yanez probe

  • Yanez dashcam video: 'I'm not pulling it out.' 'Don't pull it out!'

    Updated 4:35 p.m. | Posted 3:12 p.m.
     
    Riham Feshir | MPR News
     
    St. Paul -- Eight seconds. That's how fast a traffic stop turned into tragedy. 
     
    St. Anthony police officer Jeronimo Yanez had pulled over motorist Philando Castile in Falcon Heights July 6, telling his partner he thought Castile resembled a suspect in a recent convenience store holdup.
     
    As he hands over his insurance card, Castile tells Yanez in a low key voice, "Sir, I have to tell you I do have a firearm on me."
     
    "OK, OK, don't reach for it, then. Don't pull it out," Yanez tells him as the officer puts his hand on his holstered gun.
     
    "I'm not pulling it out," Castile responds.
     
    "Don't pull it out!" Yanez yells as he pushes his left hand into the car through the driver's side window and draws his weapon.
     
    "No!" Castile's girlfriend Diamond Reynolds yells just before the first shot. Yanez fires seven times. Five hit Castile.
     
    Those eight seconds — from the time Castile starts telling Yanez that he has a gun to the first shot — are part of the dashcam footage from Yanez’s squad that the Minnesota Bureau of Criminal Apprehension made public Tuesday as part of the massive evidence file collected in the investigation into Yanez’s shooting of Castile. 
     
     
    The dashcam footage from Yanez’s squad car is the only video that captured the shooting of Castile. The other video, Reynolds’ Facebook Live, captured the immediate aftermath of the shooting and was shared worldwide on social media.
     
     
    The dashcam video was a key piece of evidence that led Ramsey County Attorney John Choi to bring a manslaughter charge against Yanez. Prosecutors used the video during Yanez's trial.
     
    The video includes audio from a microphone Yanez was wearing and a conversation he had with his supervisor about the shooting. The jury watched this video multiple times during the state’s case and when they asked to see it again during deliberations. The defense didn’t present the video during its case.
    Officials also released the initial call audio from Yanez to his partner that's he's pulling Castile over, via Ramsey County.
     
    Here's the squad video and Reynolds' Facebook Live edited side-by-side.
     
    (Warning: Graphic content and language)
     

    Yanez was acquitted last week on all charges tied to the shooting, including manslaughter. Castile supporters slammed the verdict as unjust. The family has said it plans to file a wrongful death civil suit in the matter.
     
    Castile, a school cafeteria supervisor, was not the suspect Yanez was seeking that night and he had a legal permit to carry his weapon.
     
    Prosecutors had argued during the trial that Yanez never saw a gun, was nervous and used deadly force recklessly in shooting a courteous and cooperative Castile, while Reynolds and her 4-year-old daughter sat in the car.
     
    "You should think from the viewpoint of the officer, reacting to the actions of the driver, who becomes non-compliant with the rather loud and direct commands of the officer," Yanez defense attorney Tom Kelly told MPR News earlier in the day Tuesday.
     
    "You’ll also see the officer physically tried to restrain the driver, which is not a fact that’s been mentioned much, and reaches in with his left arm to push Mr. Castile’s hand away from the gun," Kelly said. "So it’s obvious that he sees the gun and reacts to it."
     
    Others who saw the video after its release on Tuesday held a different perspective.
     
    "We continue to believe the killing of Philando was senseless, without cause, and veiled in unfounded racial fear and prejudice," state lawmakers in the Minnesota House People of Color and Indigenous Caucus said in a statement, adding that "urgent reform of our policing and criminal justice systems is needed."
     
    Listen: The BCA's interviews with Diamond Reynolds, Jeronimo Yanez and Joseph Kauser (interview No. 1 and No. 2).
     
    Transcript of the interview between Yanez and BCA investigators following the shooting:
     
    by Paul Tosto, MPR News edited by Cody Nelson 6/20/2017 8:12:14 PM
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