When a Minnesota police officer was acquitted last week of manslaughter in the death of a motorist whose shooting was streamed live on Facebook, the jury apparently accepted the officer’s claim that he was in fear of his life at the time.
Now, the rest of the country has a chance to see a key piece of evidence in the case.
The Minnesota Bureau of Criminal Apprehension has released police dashcam footage of the July 6, 2016, shooting of Philando Castile by St. Anthony, Minnesota, police Officer Jeronimo Yanez, KMSP reported.
Castile’s death is well known to many Americans because the aftermath of the shooting was broadcast on Facebook by Castile’s girlfriend, Diamond Reynolds.
The police footage released Tuesday showed that within five seconds, a routine traffic stop turned into a shooting that would cause protests that turned into riots, and leave many Americans wondering what exactly happened.
Even with the release of this footage, it is unclear what led to the shooting. From a transcript of the audio, after Castile tells Yanez that he is legally carrying a firearm, Yanez says “don’t reach for it then.”
Castile says that he isn’t pulling “it” out, and then Yanez fires seven shots into the car, killing Castile.
You can watch the footage here. WARNING: EXTREMELY GRAPHIC AND DISTURBING CONTENT.
According to Fox News, Yanez testified that he feared for his life after Castile did not comply with Yanez’s command to not pull out his weapon — though Castile’s girlfriend denies that Castile was drawing the gun.
Star Tribune reported that on the same day that a jury cleared Yanez of all charges, the city of St. Anthony fired him as a police officer.
“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,” said a statement released by the 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,” the statement read.
Unfortunately, we may never know exactly what happened during those fateful few seconds. Castile did have a permit to carry the firearm he had on him, but we will likely never know if he actually reached for the gun or not.
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