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Minnesota officer says motorist had hand on gun when shot

Minnesota officer says motorist had hand on gun when shot

On Friday, Officer Yanez took the stand in his defense. "I thought I was going to die".

The defense's use-of-force expert testified that after reviewing evidence in the case, he believes Yanez, a St. Anthony officer, saw a gun in Castile's hand and responded as a reasonable officer should. The officer backing up Yanez testified that Yanez told him later that he had seen a gun on Castile. The officer said he was on alert for a pair of suspects in a convenience store robbery and thought Castile resembled one of the suspects.

Kauser stood at the passenger's side of the auto as Yanez spoke with Castile through the driver's side.

Officer Jeronimo Yanez who fatally shot Philando Castile in his auto while his girlfriend and 4-year-old daughter were sitting in the vehicle, sobbed while telling jurors what happened from his vantage point.

The Minnesota police officer who shot and killed Philando Castile says he was afraid for his own life and saw the motorist's hand on a gun before opening fire.

Closing arguments were expected Monday.

Yanez told the jury the reasons why he stopped Castile on that July 6 night - that his description fit that of a robbery suspect, an incident he responded to on July 2. Castile had a permit for the weapon.

Prosecutors have said that Yanez should have taken steps to keep the situation from rapidly escalating into a shooting, such as asking the driver where his gun was.

The prosecutor mentioned in court it wasn't until 15 minutes after the shooting that the gun was found by crews working to render aid to Castile.

He testified that he saw Castile reaching for his gun and was forced to fire on him who did not obey his orders.

Yanez has said he had no option but to shoot. Another St. Paul firefighter testified previously that he saw a police officer reach "deep" inside Castile's pocket to retrieve it.

Kapelsohn couched his opinion by saying ultimately it would be up to the jury to decide if Yanez was telling the truth about actually seeing Castile's hand on the gun during the traffic stop.

Dutton said Yanez proceeded to exercise sound judgment when he pulled Castile over to further investigate his identity after determining the driver had a broken taillight. Dusterhoft said that was significant because it would have meant Castile had the gun all the way out of his pocket when he was shot.

The shooting became known across the nation because the aftermath was streamed live on Facebook by Castile's girlfriend.

The use-of-force expert founded a company about 30 years ago that offers instruction and consulting services on a wide array of areas related to police practices, including use-of-force and firearms.

"When Roseville police officers arrived you never warned them there was a gun did you?"

Emanuel Kapelsohn is the second such expert to testify on behalf of Officer Jeronimo Yanez.

Prosecutor Jeff Paulsen, on cross-examination, asserted that "the ultimate question" in the case was whether Yanez saw a gun.

When asked by a lawyer if use of force was necessary, Yanez replied "Yes".

Yanez then told Castile not to reach for the gun.

Kapelsohn said three-eighths of inch of the butt of the gun was left below the lip of the pocket.

Under those circumstances, Yanez was left with no other choice but to draw his firearm and shoot, Dutton testified. The officer is expected to testify when the defense presents its case. Yanez told the jury he had instructed Castile to not reach for his weapon, but his demands were ignored.

Various toxicology experts called by the state and defense differed on whether postmortem blood samples can accurately indicate recent marijuana use.

Testimony continues Friday in the manslaughter trial of a Minnesota police officer who fatally shot a black motorist who informed him he was carrying a gun.

The Minnesota officer facing manslaughter charges for fatally shooting a black man during a traffic stop a year ago took the stand on Friday and gave emotional testimony saying "he had no choice" when he pulled his gun.

Defense attorney Earl Gray says they have several witnesses to call Friday before calling Yanez either Friday afternoon or Monday.