Minnesota officer says motorist had hand on gun when shot


Closing arguments were expected Monday. Prosecutors say the officer acted unreasonably in shooting Castile.

The Facebook video that Reynolds shot captured the dying Castile insisting that he hadn't been reaching for his handgun. Defense attorneys argue that Yanez responded appropriately to the threat of a gun and in fear of his life.

Other witnesses testified about where Castile's gun was found after he was removed from the auto, either hanging from a pocket, falling out of a pocket and hitting the ground or deep in a pocket. Only 12 will deliberate, with three serving as alternates.

Prosecutors are trying to raise doubts about a Minnesota officer's testimony at his trial in the manslaughter death of a black motorist.

"I'm not pulling it out", Castile replied as Yanez opened fire. Castiles last words were, “I wasnt reaching for it.”.

In addition, Kapelsohn went to the impound lot where Castile's white Oldsmobile is stored, and said he placed plastic sheeting in the vehicle and sat in the auto. The gun was found in Castile's pocket after the shooting.

He had a "total disregard for my commands", Yanez said.

The police officer is the first in modern Minnesota history to be charged in an on-duty shooting.

Jeronimo Yanez on stand during the Philando Castile trial on June 9, 2017.

Yanez was working for the St. Anthony police department when he pulled over Castile on July 6 because he looked similar to a robbery suspect. At the time, there was a question as to whether Castile was a suspect in a recent convenience store robbery.

The jury has watched Yanez's patrol auto video when he stopped Castile at least three times during the trial.

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St. Anthony officer Jeronimo Yanez says he saw Philando Castile's gun before opening fire.


Yanez faces one count of second-degree manslaughter and two counts of unsafe discharge of a weapon for his conduct.

Squad vehicle video recorded after the shooting shows Yanez telling a supervisor that he did not know where the gun was, although it also recorded him saying he told Castile to take his hand off it. Castile handed over his insurance card and then told Yanez, "Sir, I do have to tell you, I do have a firearm on me". He testified that he was "surprised" when shots were fired but that didn't have Yanez's vantage of Castile and trusted his judgment.

The Minnesota police officer on trial for the murder of a black motorist during a traffic stop previous year, the aftermath of which was streamed on social media by the driver's girlfriend, is expected to say on Friday that he feared for his life.

Ramsey County Attorney John Choi announced the charges against Yanez in November, saying that "no reasonable officer knowing, seeing and hearing what Officer Yanez did at the time would have used deadly force under these circumstances". The school cafeteria worker had told the officer moments before the shooting that he was carrying a gun.

When asked to explain the recording, Yanez told the jury, "What I meant by that was I didn't know where the gun was up until I saw it in his right thigh area", according to the Associated Press.

He said he reached into the auto to try and stop Castile but felt the use of force was necessary, reasonable but ultimately tragic.

Defense attorneys then proceeded to play a squad cam video of Olson giving $40 to Reynolds after Reynolds told him that she and her daughter were hungry and did not have food. But he also told the supervisor he told Castile to get his hand off the gun.

The footage shows Yanez screaming in the aftermath: "I told him not to reach for it!" The video quickly went viral and sparked protests across the nation.

The officer contended Friday that he fired after seeing parts of Castile's weapon.

"When Roseville police officers arrived you never warned them there was a gun did you?" She testified she was afraid for her 4-year-old daughter, who was in the vehicle's back seat when the shooting occurred. Kapelsohn was hired by the defense to review the case pending against Yanez and render his opinion. Kapelsohn disagreed, saying the central question to him was whether Yanez "reasonably believed that Castile was pulling out a firearm".