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Shocking video of police shooting wasn't enough to convict
August 20 2017, 02:07 | Irvin Gilbert
Police Officer Who Murdered Philando Castile Claims Smell of Marijuana Made Him Feel Endangered
We now have a new angle of a police shooting captured on video.
That video from the back seat of a police squad auto was among several new pieces of evidence released by Ramsey County authorities. Now authorities have released a police dashboard camera video showing the seconds of the shooting itself.
TIM NELSON, BYLINE: The fatal encounter started on a suburban street just outside Minneapolis.
Yanez, 29, is heard telling a supervisor that he didn't know where Castile's gun was, then saying that he told Castile to get his hand off it. Yanez testified, "What I meant by that was I didn't know where the gun was up until I saw it in his right thigh area".
"No! Please no! I don't want you to get shooted", her daughter yells.
NELSON: That's among the hours of video and audio recordings released yesterday, along with a 2,100-page report.
"Do you have your license and insurance?" he asks Mr Castille.
In the dash-cam video, Yanez can be seen approaching the auto.
About a decade ago, City of Trenton Councilwoman Annette Lartigue hosted a community series entitled "What to do when pulled over by a police officer?" Squad auto dash cam video recorded the conversation and a warning here.
This is murder and all the hemming and ums will never change this disturbing fact. Yanez said, "OK. Don't reach for it then". There is shouting, and Yanez screamed "Don't pull it out!" before firing into the vehicle.
Before Castile finished that sentence, Yanez began pulling his weapon out of the holster.
NELSON: He fired seven times.
Could Castile have been reaching for an ID? Five of the bullets struck Castile, killing him.
The video was captured by a camera in the squad vehicle of Officer Jeronimo Yanez, who was found not guilty of manslaughter and other charges in the fatal shooting of Castile, a black motorist who was shot just seconds after he told Yanez he had a gun. He also said Yanez could have acted differently. The recording was just released.
I do know that, regardless of whether or not the jury rendered a decision in line with the evidence presented, to many people a clear message came out of that Minnesota courtroom: An officer can shoot a black man who is doing everything right and not be held accountable. "I can't believe they just that", the woman whispers, laying her head on her daughter's shoulder.
"Sir, I have to tell you, I do have a firearm on me", Castile said.
Jurors weren't allowed to review this transcript during Yanez's trial, but it was referenced several times. But you know what? And the state didn't prove that he was dishonest. Last year North Carolina police officers made a decision to confront Keith Lamont Scott in his vehicle after observing him smoking marijuana in it. "Listen, listen, I'm going to take your spot".
NELSON: Yanez is a free man, although no longer employed as a police officer.
The heartbreaking video is causing people on social media to say they watched it with tears in their eyes. For NPR News, I'm Tim Nelson in St. Paul.