The Latest: Officer: Marijuana smell made him feel in danger
MINNEAPOLIS (AP) — The Latest on the release of police dashboard video in last year’s shooting death of motorist Philando Castile (all times local):
A Minnesota police officer told investigators after he shot a black motorist that the smell of marijuana from the man’s car was part of why he considered the man a threat.
Officer Jeronimo Yanez killed Philando Castile during a traffic stop last July. Castile’s girlfriend and her daughter were in the car. Yanez told investigators the next day that he believed he saw Castile pulling out a gun.
According to a transcript released Tuesday, Yanez said he thought that if Castile had “the guts and audacity” to smoke marijuana in front of the child and “risk her lungs and risk her life” with secondhand smoke, then Castile didn’t care about him either.
The defense claimed during Yanez’s manslaughter trial that Castile disregarded commands because he was stoned. Prosecutors contend Castile wasn’t going for his gun and Yanez never saw it.
The release of dashcam video in the slaying of a black motorist in Minnesota is making some people even angrier about his death.
Investigators released the video Tuesday, just days after a jury cleared Officer Jeronimo Yanez of manslaughter and other charges in the death of Philando Castile. Yanez shot Castile five times during a traffic stop last July in a St. Paul suburb, seconds after Castile informed him he was carrying a gun.
Steven Belton is president and CEO of Minneapolis Urban League. He says the video is “powerfully painful.” He says Castile was “gunned down like a rabid animal.”
Bekuh Sibet is a 29-year-old waitress. She says it was obvious to her from the video that Castile was complying.
The video doesn’t show what happened in the car. Yanez testified that Castile ignored his commands not to pull out the gun.
A law professor says the police dashcam video of the shooting death of motorist Philando Castile doesn’t resolve the key issue of whether a Minnesota officer saw Castile reaching for a gun.
Ted Sampsell-Jones of Mitchell Hamline School of Law says the video doesn’t shed any light on whether Officer Jeronimo Yanez reasonably believed Castile was reaching for his gun.
A jury last week acquitted Yanez. The dashcam video was shown at his trial but not released publicly until Tuesday.
Sampsell-Jones says it is “understandable why the jury couldn’t find him guilty beyond a reasonable doubt.”
But the professor says Yanez “made a terrible mistake, and he shouldn’t be a cop.” The city of St. Anthony announced it was dismissing Yanez after his acquittal.
Video that shows a Minnesota police officer firing seven rapid shots at Philando Castile during a traffic stop last July is now public, days after the officer was acquitted in the case.
The video came from a camera in the squad car of Officer Jeronimo Yanez. He was found not guilty of manslaughter and other charges in the death of Castile, a black motorist who was shot seconds after he told Yanez he had a gun.
The shooting gained widespread attention because Castile’s girlfriend livestreamed its gruesome aftermath on Facebook.
The squad-car video was shown in court but not released publicly until Tuesday. It shows a wide view of the traffic stop and shooting. It does not show what happened inside the car or what Yanez, who is Latino, saw.
Authorities are planning to release evidence from their investigation into the Minnesota police officer who shot and killed Philando Castile, including squad-car camera video that shows last July’s deadly encounter.
The evidence from the trial of Officer Jeronimo Yanez is expected to be released Tuesday.
While the video shows the shooting of Castile, who was black, it does not show what happened in the car or what Yanez actually saw.
Yanez, who is Latino, was acquitted of manslaughter and other charges Friday. He fired seven shots at Castile just seconds after the 32-year-old said he had a gun. He had a permit for it.
The squad-car video was shown at trial, but hasn’t yet been released publicly.
The shooting gained widespread attention because Castile’s girlfriend livestreamed its aftermath on Facebook.