Shocking video of police shooting wasn't enough to convict

As we reported last week, Minnesota officer Jeronimo Yanez was acquitted of second-degree manslaughter charges after shooting and killing Philando during a traffic stop past year.

Yesterday, dash cam video of the shooting of Castile by Officer Jeronimo Yanez was released.

While the video shows the shooting of Castile, who was black, it does not show what happened in the vehicle or what Yanez actually saw. She went on to say, "I am still baffled at how 12 people could come to the conclusion to acquit him in this manner".

"Sir, I have to tell you that I do have a firearm on me", Castile said 30 seconds after they began speaking. Not long after, Yanez proceeded fire seven shots at Castile in front of his fiancé and her daughter, who was in the backseat.

The dashboard video taken from Officer Jeronimo Yanez's squad vehicle illustrated how a simple traffic stop of a black man shifted in an instant from a routine exchange to a deadly confrontation. Reynolds struggles with her handcuffs, but her daughter pleads throughout the video that Reynolds should remain calm because she doesn't want her "to get shooted".

Put in context, Yanez' after-the-fact comments about the smell of marijuana seem to imply that the former police officer had completely unwarranted pre-conceived notions about Castile before a gun was mentioned by either party. In reality, the officer had been looking for an armed robbery suspect whose description he later said matched Castile's appearance.

Meaning that, just a few minutes into the stop, Yanez had already played judge and jury, deciding that even if Castile wasn't the robber the police were looking for, that he was at the very least a drug dealer.

While we can't see into his psyche, something tells us Yanez wouldn't have feared for his life had he had pulled over a white man smoking a cigarette. Castile tells the officer he is not reaching for the gun, but Yanez continues to yell at Castile to not reach for the gun.

Yanez is heard shouting at the woman to keep her hands up. It shows a wide view of the traffic stop and shooting.

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". The city of St. Anthony announced it was dismissing Yanez after his acquittal.

  • Larry Hoffman