ST. PAUL, Minn. - A nine-minute police dash cam video was the centerpiece for both prosecutors and the defense team in the high-profile manslaughter trial of Jeronimo Yanez, and on Tuesday that tape was released so members of the public can view it and make up their own minds.
Last Friday, a jury found Yanez not guilty of all charges -- both manslaughter in Castile's death and two counts of dangerous discharge of a firearm for bullets that were fired near Castile's girlfriend and her little girl. The verdict set off a weekend full of protests from Castile supporters.
The video released Tuesday documents what unfolded that fateful night, from the moment Yanez (then a St. Anthony Police officer) begins following Philando Castile's car for a malfunctioning tail light, to the shooting and the lifesaving efforts that followed. Yanez was wearing a wireless microphone, and it captured the exchange between him and Castile that ends in seven gun shots in a matter of seconds.
Yanez approaches the vehicle and informs Castile he pulled him over for an inoperable brake light. Yanez asks for Castile’s driver’s license and proof of insurance.
As Castile hands Yanez his insurance card, he says, “Sir, I have to tell you that I do have a firearm on me."
Yanez: “OK, don’t reach for it then.”
Castile: “I’m… I’m… [inaudible] reaching.”
Yanez: “Don’t pull it out.”
Castile: “I’m not pulling it out.”
Passenger: “He’s not pulling it out.”
Yanez: “Don't pull it out!”
[Seven shots fired]
The dash camera continues to record as other officers arrive, pull Castile from the car, and begin chest compressions. The recording includes a conversation Yanez then had with his supervisor, St. Anthony Police Officer Tressa Sunde.
"He [Castile] was sitting in the car, seat belted. I told him, can I see your license? And then, he told me he had a firearm. I told him not to reach for it and (sigh) when he went down to grab, I told him not to reach for it (clears throat) and then he kept it right there, and I told him to take his hands off of it, and then he (sigh) he had his, his grip a lot wider than a wallet," Yanez said.
Yanez went on to say:
"And I don’t know where the gun was, he didn't tell me where the f***ing gun was and then it way just getting hinky, he gave, he was just staring straight ahead, and I was getting f***ing nervous, and then I told him, I know I f***ing told him to get his f***ing hand off his gun."
While the video shows the shooting of Castile, it does not show what happened in the car to reflect what Yanez actually saw before opening fire.