wnol.info May 20 2018

Minnesota officer who killed motorist to testify Friday

May 20 2018, 05:30 | Irvin Gilbert

Jeronimo Yanez

Jeronimo Yanez

Officer Jeronimo Yanez says he thought he was going to die, and his wife and baby daughter's face popped into his mind just before he fatally shot motorist Philando Castile.

Prosecutors accused Dutton of leaving out important facts in his analysis and relying too heavily on Yanez's statements about the shooting on the evening of July 6 in Falcon Heights. And he says when Castile reached for something, Yanez was justified in firing. The school cafeteria worker had told the officer moments before the shooting that he was carrying a gun.

"I'm not pulling it out", Castile replied as Yanez opened fire. Castile "had total disregard for my commands", he said.

Yanez said he felt he had no choice but to shoot.

Asked to explain the recording, Yanez said: "What I meant by that was I didn't know where the gun was up until I saw it in his right thigh area".

Squad auto video of the encounter shows Yanez replying, "OK, don't reach for it then".

Prosecutor Jeff Paulsen, on cross-examination, asserted that "the ultimate question" in the case was whether Yanez saw a gun.

A prosecutor has told jurors in OH that the white former police officer who killed a black unarmed motorist should have followed his training, while the defense says the man who was killed should have followed orders.

Kapelsohn, a firearms instructor to police for 37 years, said the situation escalated when Castile reached for something.

A Minnesota police officer charged in the death of a black motorist testified Friday that he was "scared to death" and fired because the man was pulling out his gun and ignoring commands to stop.

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Emanuel Kapelsohn says it should be whether Officer Jeronimo Yanez reasonably believed that Philando Castile was pulling a gun when Yanez shot him. Paulsen noted the absence of a bullet hole in Castile's shorts or bullet damage to his gun - evidence, the prosecutor said, that showed he wasn't reaching for the gun when shot.

Joseph Dutton testified Thursday for the defense.

Kapelsohn said tests he conducted showed it would take three-tenths of a second to draw a gun like Castile's from a holster in the pocket of shorts like Castile was wearing. There has been a variety of people who testified so far, including various members of law enforcement, a toxicology professional, a use of force expert and friends of Yanez.

Earlier Thursday, St. Anthony Police Chief Jon Mangseth testified that the shooting might have been justified even if the officer couldn't see the gun. Yanez is charged with manslaughter in the killing of Philando Castile in the St. Paul suburb last July.

The state rested its case against Yanez on Thursday morning.

But Castile did not comply and continued going for the handgun later found in his right pocket, Dutton said, putting Yanez in imminent danger of bodily harm or death if he failed to react quickly. The defense claims that Yanez saw Castile's hand on the weapon. He was hired by the defense to review all the investigative reports and video footage associated with the case before rendering his analysis on the reasonableness of Yanez's actions. However, if he saw a gun, then there is jeopardy.

A use-of-force expert testified Friday that the Minnesota police officer was justified in the fatal shooting of a black motorist moments after the man told him he was carrying a gun, and said his tests found the motorist could have pulled the weapon in a fraction of a second. Prosecutors say he acted unreasonably in killing Castile, a 32-year-old school cafeteria worker who had a permit to carry the gun.

Kapelsohn says if Yanez saw a gun, he was justified to shoot.

Defense attorney Earl Gray says they have several witnesses to call Friday before calling Yanez either Friday afternoon or Monday.

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