Video: Minnesota Cop Charged In Fatal Shooting of Philando Castile
By Rachel Cromidas in News on Nov 16, 2016 7:01PM
ST. PAUL, MN - JULY 07: A sign reading, 'Justice for Philando,' and police tape are draped over the entrance of the Governor's Mansion following the police shooting death of a black man on July 7, 2016 in St. Paul, Minnesota. Philando Castile was shot and killed last night, July 6, 2016, by a police officer in Falcon Heights, MN. (Photo by Stephen Maturen/Getty Images)
The Minnesota police officer who fatally shot Philando Castile, a black man from St. Paul, during a traffic stop earlier this year has been charged with second-degree man slaughter.
Yanez was also charged with two felony counts of intentional discharge of a dangerous weapon, according to the NYTimes. He has a court appearance on Friday. The Ramsey County attorney prosecuting the case said that "no reasonable officer...would have used deadly force under these circumstances."
Castile's tragic July 6 shooting drew national attention after his girlfriend Lavish Reynolds, who was in the car with him and her 7-year-old daughter at the time, streamed a disturbing video of the aftermath on Facebook. Officer Jeronimo Yanez pulled Castile, 32, a St. Paul Public Schools employee, over in his car while he was looking for an armed robbery suspect. Yanez then shot Castile several times as Castile reached for his ID. According to Castile's girlfriend, Castile told Yanez that he had a gun permit and was armed during the traffic stop. Authorities have said Yanez may have shot Castile because he was concerned that Castile had a gun in his car.
Castile's family has argued that he was racially profiled and would not have been shot dead in his car that day if he wasn't black. The gruesome killing has joined other killings of black men by police officers around the U.S. in inspiring the Black Lives Matter movement and anti-police protests.
Minnesota Gov. Mark Dayton condemned the shooting last summer as a "horrible" and "senseless tragedy," and said he would do make sure local and state authorities investigated the killing.
Friends and family described Castile to reporters as a calm man who had been pulled over in traffic stops many times before and would not have reached for his gun. Ramsey County attorney John J. Choi, who is prosecuting the case, said that Castile had "calmly and in a nonthreatening manner" told Yanez that he had a gun and Yanez replied "OK, don't reach for it, then."
"Castile tried to respond but was interrupted by officer Yanez who said, 'don't pull it out.' Castile responded, 'I'm not pulling it out,' and Reynolds also responded by saying 'he's not pulling it out,'" according to Choi. "Then Officer Yanez screamed 'Don't pull it out' and quickly pulled his own gun with his right hand while he reached inside the driver's side window with his left hand. Officer Yanez pulled his left arm out of the car and then fired seven rounds in rapid succession into the vehicle."
"After the final shot, Reynold's frantically yelled, 'you just killed my boyfriend.' Philando Castile moaned and uttered his final words, 'I wasn't reaching for it," Choi added. Another officer who was on the scene told authorities that he did not see Castile make any indication that he was going to reach for his gun.
You can watch a segment of Choi's remarks, below: