Jurors in manslaughter trial of Minnesota cop review videos
- Author: Leroy Wright Jun 14, 2017,
Jun 14, 2017, 19:34
Prosecutor Jeffrey Paulsen painted Yanez as an unreliable witness during his closing arguments, saying that the officer acted prematurely and that Castile "never reached for his gun, let alone put his hands on it", the Star Tribune reports. Unlike other officers that have been charged with manslaughter, this suspect had a gun.
He told the jury "drugs and guns don't mix", and that Castile being stoned contributed to his failing to follow Offier Yanez's command not to reach for the gun.
Gray agreed that the officer did not say the gun was black in his initial statements, but Gray made clear that the reason was because Yanez "had just been traumatized".
They repeatedly played the squad auto video and pointed out that Yanez never told Castile to "freeze" or stop moving.
The prosecution tried to argue to the judge on Tuesday that the jury should be given access to the transcript, but the defense disagreed.
After he shot Castile, Yanez is heard on the squad vehicle video telling a supervisor variously that he didn't know where Castile's gun was, then that he told Castile to get his hand off it. The officer shot the driver five times seconds after Castile told him he was carrying a gun.
The Ramsey County judge hearing the case hasn't said in open court how long each side will get for closing arguments. Paulsen added, "Yanez used deadly force as a first option rather than a last resort, and because he was so reckless he's guilty of culpable negligence".
The 32-year-old school cafeteria worker was one in a string of black men to die at the hands of police in recent years, and his death drew additional attention because his girlfriend, Diamond Reynolds, streamed the gruesome aftermath on Facebook.
Yanez never said he was sure he saw a gun, until he testified, Paulsen said.
Leary III defined culpable negligence in his jury instructions as "intentional conduct that the defendant may not have meant to be harmful, but that an ordinary and reasonable prudent person would recognize as involving a strong probability of injury to others", adding the concept includes gross negligence coupled with an element recklessness.
"You didn't say he grabbed a gun", Dusterhoft said.
Leary refused a jury request to view a post-shooting video interview with Yanez by the Minnesota Bureau of Criminal Apprehension, excerpts of which were read in court. She said: "We need to just stand in solidarity".
Closing arguments are set for Monday in a Minnesota police officer's manslaughter trial in the death of a black motorist. He then asked for Castile's license and proof of insurance.
Castile had THC, the high-giving component of marijuana, in his blood when he died.
Paulsen also refuted Gray's blow to Reynolds' testimony about receiving $40 from the BCA agent, asking jurors, "What does that have to do with your decisions in this case?" There is a gun and there is a threat and if Officer Yanez is convicted or even remains in the system with a hung jury, then there isn't one use of force that couldn't come under the same scrutiny.
"The determination of reasonableness must embody allowance for the fact that police officers are often forced to make split-second judgments about the force that is necessary in a particular situation under circumstances that are tense, uncertain, and rapidly evolving", the instructions state. Jurors were to return Tuesday morning.