Nearly a year after Officer Jeronimo Yanez fatally shot Philando Castile on July 6, 2016, in St. Paul, Minnesota, the Minnesota Bureau of Criminal Apprehension released a dash cam video (below) of the incident, on June 20.
The shooting occurred after Yanez and his partner pulled over Castile, his girlfriend, Diamond Reynolds, and her 4-year-old daughter for a broken brake light.
According to the Star Tribune, radio traffic said Yanez pulled over the African-American couple because they "just look like people that were involved in a robbery," and because Castile had a "wide set nose."
During the stop, Castile calmly told Yanez: "Sir, I do have to tell you, I have a firearm on me."
"Don't reach for it then," Yanez told him. "Don't pull it out."
"I'm not pulling out," Castile replied.
"Don't pull it out!" Yanez shouted
Yanez suddenly opened fire on Castile, and Yanez's partner quickly jumped out of the way on the other side of the car.
Yanez became hysterical as Reynolds calmly broadcast a video of the aftermath on Facebook Live.
"Don't pull it out!" Yanez yelled as Castile bled to death. "Don't move! F***! F***! F***! Don't move! Don't move! Don't move!"
Yanez's partner picked up Reynolds' daughter and took her away from the scene as Yanez grew more hysterical.
Yanez was acquitted on June 16 of criminal charges in the fatal shooting of Castile, prompting marches and protests.
Flanked by two lawyers, Yanez told investigators from the Bureau of Criminal Apprehension on July 7, 2016, that he smelled burnt marijuana as he approached the car so he told Castile that he had pulled the car over for the tail light because he "didn't want to scare him or have him react in a defensive manner."
Yanez also told investigators that Castile was mumbling, although Castile spoke clearly enough that the police dash cam picked up his sentences.
Yanez recalled that he asked Castile for his license, and as Castile reached down he (Castile) voluntarily told Yanez that he had a gun.
"It appeared to me that he had no regard to what I was saying. He didn’t care what I was saying," Yanez recalled. "He still reached down."
Yanez did not tell Castile not to reach down, but rather not to take the gun out. Reynolds has always maintained that Castile was reaching for his ID when Yanez shot him multiple times.
"And at that point I was scared and I was in fear for my life and my partner’s life," Yanez told investigators. "And for the little girl in the back and the front seat passenger and he dropped his hand down and I can’t remember what I was telling him but I was telling him something as his hand went down I think."
Castile fired a hail of bullets into the car, but the little girl was not struck. Yanez's partner seemed stunned by the gunfire, and quickly jumped out of the way.
Yanez then compared smoking marijuana to threatening the lives of police officers:
I know he had an object -- and it was dark. As that was happening, as he was pulling at, out his hand I thought, I was gonna die and I thought if he’s, if he has the guts and the audacity to smoke marijuana in front of the 5-year-old girl and risk her lungs and risk her life by giving her secondhand smoke and the front seat passenger doing the same thing then what, what care does he give about me.
Yanez told investigators that he thought a "big" gun barrel was "coming out" of Castile's pocket, only moments after Castile voluntarily informed him of the weapon.
"To me it just looked big and apparent that he’s going to shoot you, he’s going to kill you," Yanez said. "This is your suspect from the robbery."
Castile was not the suspect in the robbery.
Yanez was fired on June 16 by the City of St. Anthony, which released a statement, noted the Star Tribune:
The City of St. Anthony has concluded that the public will be best served if Officer Yanez is no longer a police officer in our city. The city intends to offer Officer Yanez a voluntary separation agreement to help him transition to another career other than being a St. Anthony officer.