Officer who killed black motorist to take the stand Friday

Posted June 20, 2017

The defense has rested their case in the trial of Jeronimo Yanez over the fatal shooting of Philando Castile. Castile, a 32-year-old cafeteria worker, had a permit for the weapon and prosecutors have sought to portray him as being cooperative when he volunteered to Yanez early during the stop, "Sir, I have to tell you, I do have a firearm on me".

The Minnesota police officer on trial for the murder of a black motorist during a traffic stop previous year, the aftermath of which was streamed on social media by the driver's girlfriend, is expected to say on Friday that he feared for his life.

Dusterhoft also took issue with Yanez's perception of Castile as a possible robbery suspect based on scant similarities, and particularly after Yanez discovered he had a female passenger and small child in the vehicle with him.

Squad vehicle video of the encounter shows Yanez replying, "OK, don't reach for it then".

Officer Jeronimo Yanez who fatally shot Philando Castile in his auto while his girlfriend and 4-year-old daughter were sitting in the vehicle, sobbed while telling jurors what happened from his vantage point.

Closing arguments are set for Monday.

Yanez is charged with second-degree manslaughter and two felony counts of unsafe discharge of a firearm. Castile had a permit for the weapon.

Reynolds testified that Castile was reaching for his ID in his back pocket when he was shot.

When asked to explain the recording, Yanez told the jury, "What I meant by that was I didn't know where the gun was up until I saw it in his right thigh area", according to the Associated Press.

Kapelsohn testified that he did a similar experiment in April inside Castile's actual auto and testified that the gun was within 1/8 of an inch from the pocket's opening even without pulling it out.

The officer testified when he saw Castile's gun, "my family popped into my head".

Kapelsohn says if Yanez saw a gun, he was justified to shoot.

St. Anthony police officer Jeronimo Yanez stands outside the Ramsey County Courthouse while waiting for a ride on May 30, 2017, in St. Paul, Minnesota. "I told him to get his hand off it!" Castile started saying he wasn't reaching for it, but the officer interrupted and said, "Don't pull it out".

"Apparently, the officer perceived that Mr. Castile was pulling the gun out", Kapelsohn said, according to the Star Tribune.

Yanez is charged with manslaughter in the July death of Castile during a traffic stop in a St. Paul suburb.

The defense also called its own toxicology expert to the stand Thursday to weigh in on the evidence of marijuana use found in Castile's system during his autopsy.

A police officer's use of force is justified if a reasonable officer in the same circumstances would have also perceived a threat of great bodily harm or death to him or herself or others.

He was the second use-of-force expert to testify on behalf of the defense.

When pulled over by police, James Diehl said he teaches students to first tell officers they have a permit to carry. He rejected prosecutor Jeff Paulsen's assertion Friday that the central question in the case is whether Yanez saw Castile's gun.

Peregrine Corporation is a firearms and use of force training consulting firm that Kapelsohn formed in 1980.

Castile died, insisting that he hadn't been reaching for his handgun.

Kapelsohn said three-eighths of inch of the butt of the gun was left below the lip of the pocket. The one who testified for the state said Yanez was negligent throughout the traffic stop.

On Friday, the St. Anthony police officer testified that he had been on the lookout for two suspects who had robbed a gas station four days prior.

Philando Castile was shot and killed after being pulled over in the Twin Cities. The defense then called an expert who testified that Yanez justifiably used deadly force when he shot Castile.

The St. Anthony police officer faces one count of second-degree manslaughter and two counts of unsafe discharge of a weapon in connection with fatally shooting Castile, a black motorist, during a traffic stop July 6 in Falcon Heights.