The 62-second encounter with police that killed Philando Castile

Opening day of one of the most highly anticipated trials in Minnesota was marked by last-minute disputes between attorneys and a glimpse of who might sit on the jury that will ultimately decide if a St. Anthony police officer was legally justified when he shot and killed Philando Castile last summer. Yanez is charged with second-degree manslaughter, which is punishable by up to 10 years in prison.

Yanez's attorneys have said he acted in self-defense.

One motion dealt with whether to allow statements by Reynolds about Castile having a valid permit to carry a gun during the incident.

While taking a break from mowing his lawn, 54-year-old Ron Brisbois says he hasn't reached any conclusions about the case, but he is glad the process will play out in a public courtroom. Before she completed her sentence, Yanez screamed "Don't pull it out!"

The defense team argued that Castile's legal status to carry a weapon is irrelevant, as it was not known to Yanez at the time of the shooting.

As the video rocketed around social media, weeks of protests shut down freeways in the Twin Cities and spurred an encampment outside the governor's residence. The aftermath was streamed live on Facebook by Castile's girlfriend, who says in the video that Castile had a permit to carry.

Yanez said he had reason to pull over the vehicle because Castile looked like a suspect in a convenience store robbery that took place in the area four days earlier, court documents said.

Phil Stinson, a professor of criminal justice at Bowling Green State University in OH, says police officers shoot and kill people about 900 to 1,000 times per year.

SEPIC: Seventy-four seconds after Yanez activated his squad lights, he fired seven shots at 32-year-old Philando Castille as he lay dying, Castile's girlfriend Diamond Reynolds began live-streaming on Facebook.

Yanez: "Ma'am, just keep your hands where they are". Yanez told state investigators that he feared for his life, but Choi argues Castile never threatened the officer.

"I'm just glad that we have came to this chapter. So it's kind of the reverse arguments that we're going to get here".

REYNOLDS: Yes, I will sir.

The state maintains that the presence of THC in his system does not prove when Castile last used marijuana and that Yanez's decision to shoot was reckless regardless.

Yanez's side of the story was partly posted on the Ramsey County Attorney's website. "I would rather be defending him than prosecuting him based on what I know and what I've read". Please don't tell me this, lord. Castile had a gun in his pocket when he was stopped. And the retrial of former University of Cincinnati officer Ray Tensing is underway after his first case ended with a hung jury last November.

Defense attorney Lori Traub defended Brian Fitch in 2015 in the killing of Mendota Heights police officer Scott Patrick - one of the state's most high-profile cases. Majority were white. Thompson said they decided not to attend the jury selection but plan to be there when testimony starts.

Meantime, protesters demanding the officer be charged spilled onto Interstate 94, leading to police injuries and arrests. "So this is not been new for me".

  • Larry Hoffman