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Officer Who Shot Philando Castile Says He 'Had No Choice'

Officer Who Shot Philando Castile Says He 'Had No Choice'”

The patrolman's shouted expletives at his targeted victim and claimed in court that he opened fire because Castile was reaching for a gun. "I thought I was going to die".

"I had no other choice".

Yanez capped the trial's first week of testimony on Friday by taking the stand to say that Castile disregarded his commands not to pull out his gun. "He was not complying with my directions". The officer said he fired because he feared for his life.

The jury is expected to begin considering the case later Monday after just five days of testimony, evidence and arguments.

Yanez's attorney, Earl Gray, said in closing statements that his client is an honest police officer who "did what he had to do".

St. Anthony Police Department officer Jeronimo Yanez was charged with second-degree manslaughter after he fatally shot Philando Castile, 32, last July in an incident that drew national attention and led to weeks of protests in St. Paul and Minneapolis. Reynolds live-streamed the aftermath.

Castile had informed Yanez when the officer approached Castile's auto that he was carrying a gun.

Yanez began to cry.

Paulsen went back to the brief conversation Castile had with Yanez that night - and the fact Castile told him he had a firearm, as the dash camera showed - as further proof of why it wouldn't make sense for Castile to be motivated to pull it out and use it. "Those were not my intentions". Officers were instructed to look out for the suspects. They made eye contact.

After he shot Castile, Yanez is heard on the squad vehicle video telling a supervisor variously that he didn't know where Castile's gun was, then that he told Castile to get his hand off it. Yanez testified Friday that he meant that he didn't know where the gun was "up until I saw it in his right thigh area".

As for the other felonies, the jury must decide that Yanez "intentionally" discharged his gun "under circumstances that endangered the safety of another person". "The problem was Yanez wasn't listening to him".

Prosecutors have run with the theory that Yanez's failure to use the word "gun" to alert responding officers at the scene and his language with investigators indicate that he never saw Castile's gun, which was later recovered from his right front shorts pocket, per Star Tribune.

The BCA transcript of Yanez's interview with the BCA the day after the shooting was never admitted into court and therefore could not be reviewed.

As for the recording in which he said he didn't know where the gun was, he explained, "What I meant by that was I didn't know where the gun was up until I saw it in his right thigh area". My mind was all over the place, because I was under a tremendous amount of stress.

"You appear to be unsure of what you saw", Dusterhoft said a few questions later.

Yanez resorted to deadly force "before he was sure", Paulsen said.

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 auto near them.

Conviction on the manslaughter charge requires the jury to find Yanez guilty of "culpable negligence", which the judge described in jury instructions as gross negligence with an element of recklessness.



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