Following last week’s acquittal of Minnesota cop Jeronimo Yanez on manslaughter charges, the Minnesota Bureau of Criminal Apprehension opened its case file on the fatal shooting of Philando Castile. This includes dashcam video of the traffic stop that led to Castile’s death. The footage is truly graphic and shows the initial stop occurring due to a malfunctioning tail light. At around 1:00 in the clip, Officer Yanez approaches the vehicle and informs Castile that one of his brake lights is out.
Since the audio in this clip is fully functional, Yanez can be heard asking for Castile’s driver’s license. He complies and tells Yanez that he has a gun in the car: “Sir, I have to tell you, I do have a firearm on me.” Yanez tells him, “Okay, don’t reach for it, then. Don’t pull it out, don’t pull it out!”
It’s not clear what happens in the next split second, but Yanez then fires seven times into the car. Diamond Reynolds (Castile’s girlfriend, who livestreamed the chilling aftermath video of the shooting) can be heard screaming while Yanez’s partner hops away from the car in apparent shock. Yanez continues to point the gun into the vehicle while shouting expletives and telling Castile not to move. Reynolds’ child then hops out of the car and runs into the arms of the other cop while his mother cries.
Castile later died at a nearby hospital. It was previously reported that, in the moments before being shot, he reached for his wallet.
The acquittal of Yanez follows similar outcomes on two other high profile 2016 cases, which also revolved around viral videos showing black men being shot and killed by law enforcement. In May, Officer Betty Shelby was found not guilty in the fatal shooting of Terence Crutcher in Tulsa, Oklahoma. And in the death of Alton Sterling, the Justice Department declined to bring charges against the officers who killed him in Baton Rouge.