‘I Thought I Was Going to Die’ Says Cop Who Murdered Philando Castile

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Jeronimo Yanez, a former Minnesota police officer on trial for fatally shooting Philando Castile during a traffic stop in July 2016, testified Friday he fired his weapon because Castile had his hand on a gun, not his wallet and identification papers.

“I had no other choice. I didn’t want to shoot Mr. Castile. That wasn’t my intention,” Yanez said while wiping tears from his eyes, CNN affiliate WCCO reported. “I thought I was going to die.”

An audio recording captured Castile telling Yanez that he had a gun in the car, and Yanez telling Castile not to reach for it.
“It’s your testimony today that you saw Mr. Castile pull out an object?” prosecutor Rick Dusterhoft said Friday.
“It was a gun,” Yanez said.
Philando Castile’s girlfriend takes the stand
“You said he pulled it out?”
“Correct,” Yanez said.
“And he said he wasn’t (pulling it out)?”
“Correct, but it doesn’t always mean that’s what he was doing,” Yanez said.
The shooting became known across the nation because the aftermath was streamed live on Facebook by Castile’s girlfriend. The video went viral, sparking protests and renewing criticism of the use of deadly force by police, especially against African-American men.
‘Officers are not perfect’

Earlier Friday, Emanuel Kapelsohn, a police training and firearms expert called as a defense witness, testified he thought Yanez acted appropriately while thinking Castile was reaching for a gun.

When prosecutors questioned him about the commands Yanez yelled at Castile, Kapelsohn said, “Officers are not perfect.”

“Perfection is not a goal to achieve. It may be a goal to strive for,” he said.
Yanez was working for the St. Anthony police department when he pulled over Castile on July 6 because he looked similar to a robbery suspect. Castile’s girlfriend, Diamond Reynolds, was in the passenger seat and her young daughter was in the back.

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Filming Cops
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Filming Cops was started in 2010 as a conglomerative blogging service documenting police abuse. The aim isn’t to demonize the natural concept of security provision as such, but to highlight specific cases of State-monopolized police brutality that are otherwise ignored by traditional media outlets.

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  • Austin Hill

    such bullshit I thought I was going to die is like get out of jail free card. noticed how betty jo Shelby said the same thing. shes aquitted we need be able to take I feared for my life or I thought I was going to die a non usable testimonial phrase in the court of law.

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