Tuesday, 21 November, 2017

Officer never saw Philando Castile's gun before shooting, prosecutor says

Roland Mccarthy | 14 June, 2017, 05:39

Jurors deciding the fate of a Minnesota police officer charged in the fatal shooting of a black motorist during a traffic stop previous year took another look on Tuesday at two videos showing the incident and its immediate aftermath.

St. Anthony Police Officer Jeronimo Yanez, 29, has been charged with one count of second-degree manslaughter and two counts of unsafe discharge of a firearm.

Jeronimo Yanez, 29, said that after Castile informed the former St. Anthony, Minnesota, cop that he had a licensed firearm in the vehicle, he told Castile not to reach for it. Yanez said that he saw Castile, 32, reaching for his gun in his pocket and reacted. Castile had a permit for the weapon.

Jury deliberations will continue Tuesday at 9 a.m.

Castile had informed Yanez he was carrying a gun.

Prosecutors insisted Yanez never saw a gun and had plenty of options short of shooting Castile, a school cafeteria worker they say was never a threat.

But during closing arguments on Monday, Yanez's defense team said Castile reached for his gun when he was told not to.

Prosecutors called several witnesses to try to show that Yanez never saw the gun and acted recklessly and unreasonably.

The finger was injured during the incident and Paulsen explained to jurors that the photo is additional evidence that Castile's trigger finger could have not been in his pocket or on the gun when he was shot. He also cited testimony from first responders of Castile's gun falling out of his pocket as he was loaded onto a backboard.

Yanez was emotional throughout his testimony, claiming that fear overtook him during his exchange with Castile.

Castile's girlfriend, Diamond Reynolds, captured the aftermath of the shooting in a now infamous Facebook Live video that showed Yanez crying after the shooting, prompting outrage and protests across the country.

ST. PAUL, Minnesota (CNN) - Philando Castile was calm and polite when an officer pulled him over for a broken taillight, a prosecutor said Monday, yet he still died in a barrage of gunfire.

"The victim in this case was a good man too", Paulsen said, and referred to Castile's job at an elementary school. "And now they've been deprived of that role model". (Yanez) fired seven rounds into that vehicle.

He said it was reasonable to deduce that Castile had smoked marijuana the day of the shooting because THC, the main psychoactive chemical in cannabis, was found in his blood.

"We all know this is a sad case". Yanez has been charged with manslaughter.

The jury deliberating the fate of a Minnesota police officer charged in the fatal shooting of a black motorist has watched replays of two key videos in the case. The rest are white.

Now, a jury must decide whether Yanez should be convicted of three charges against him: one count of second-degree manslaughter for the death of Castile, and two counts of "intentional discharge of firearm that endangers safety" for shooting into a auto with Reynolds and her daughter inside. "How in the world can the State of Minnesota, the prosecution, be so unfair about that statement?"

Paulsen reminded the jury of the recorded statements on Monday, saying they should consider them accurate.

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