- Castile posed a threat because he used drug in front of daughter, officer said
- Officer also failed to disclose that Castile said he wasn’t reaching for his gun
The Minnesota police officer who shot and killed Philando Castile told state investigators that he believed his life was danger because he smelled marijuana in his car, according to transcripts released on Tuesday along with dash-camera footage.
Officer Jeronimo Yanez said in an interview following the fatal traffic stop that Castile’s apparent willingness to use the drug in front of his young daughter and girlfriend led Yanez to believe that the 32-year-old posed a serious threat.
“I thought if he’s, if he has the, the guts and the audacity to smoke marijuana in front of the five-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?” he said.
The statement appeared in the transcript of Yanez’s questioning by investigators in July last year, in which the officer also failed to disclose that Castile had said out loud that he was “not reaching” for his handgun after being warned not to do so.
Dash-camera footage released along with the transcript clearly picks up Castile telling the officer “I do have a firearm on me”. He was licensed to carry the gun. The officer orders Castile not to reach for it and not to pull it out to which Castile replies: “I’m not pulling it out.”
The officer reaches his left arm into the vehicle, screaming, while he draws his weapon with his right hand and, all in one motion, fires seven bullets into the vehicle, killing Castile. Castile can be heard screaming as the shots ring out and says in agony “I wasn’t reaching” as the officer begins to yell “fuck” again and again.
Prosecutors in the case argued that Castile was merely trying to reach for his wallet so he could hand over the driver’s license Yanez had asked him to produce…