St. Anthony police officer Jeronimo Yanez had actually no option however to shoot Philando Castile when Castile ignored the officer’s commands and reached for his handgun during a traffic protect against last summer, an skilled witness testified Thursday because that the defense.

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Former police officer and police use-of-force skilled Joseph Dutton common his ideas on the shooting through the jury hearing the manslaughter attempt in Ramsey County district Court.

Officer Jeronimo Yanez. (Courtesy that KARE 11)

The state rested its case versus Yanez on Thursday morning. As the defense started presenting its instance for the police officer, prosecutors cross-examined, occasionally at length, most of the witnesses called by his attorneys, including Dutton.

Prosecutors accused Dutton of leaving out crucial facts in his analysis and relying too greatly on Yanez’s statements about the shooting on the evening of July 6 in Falcon Heights.

The state alleges that Yanez, 29, recklessly shot Castile as soon as the 32-year-old black motorist to be trying to gain his wallet so he might produce the driver’s patent that Yanez had actually requested. Yanez is Latino.

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Philando Castile

The shooting took location seconds after ~ Castile called Yanez, “Sir, ns do need to tell you have I have a firearm top top me.” Castile was licensed to carry the gun but hadn’t pointed out being licensed before the shooting, which was partially caught by the camera ~ above the dashboard that Yanez’s squad car.

The defense maintains that Castile was getting to for his gun regardless of Yanez’s repeated regulates not to. At the point, the officer, fearing because that his life, opened up fire into Castile’s car, fatally wounding the St. Paul elementary college cafeteria supervisor, lock contend.

Yanez faces one count of second-degree manslaughter and two counts of dangerous discharge the a weapon. He has actually pleaded not guilty.


Dutton operated as a police officer for more than 30 years in Mound and golden Valley. He to be hired by the defense to testimonial all the investigative reports and video clip footage linked with the case before rendering his analysis on the reasonableness the Yanez’s actions.

He testified Thursday that Yanez followed protocol once he radioed his police partner in an additional squad car to tell him around a driver who resembled a doubt in a recent armed robbery.

Dutton claimed Yanez behavior to exercise sound judgment when he pulled Castile over to additional investigate his identification after determining the driver had actually a damaged taillight. That provided him a legal reason to do the stop, Dutton said.

Yanez behavior to follow police protocol when he walked as much as Castile’s car and asked to watch his license and proof the insurance, Dutton said.

Then, once Castile told him he had actually a firearm, Yanez reacted within the limit of his training as soon as he said him not to reach for “it.” “It” an interpretation the gun, Dutton said.

But Castile did not comply and continued going for the handgun later discovered in his ideal pocket, Dutton said, placing Yanez in imminent danger the bodily injury or death if that failed to react quickly.

Under those circumstances, Yanez was left through no other an option but to attract his firearm and shoot, Dutton testified.

“The individual had a gun,” Dutton said. “(Yanez) didn’t have time come (figure out) what his on purpose was.”

Prompted by inquiries by defense attorney Earl Gray, Dutton stated he had actually no doubt that Yanez’s usage of deadly pressure was reasonable. When he saw Castile’s hand top top the gun, Dutton defined that de-escalating the instance was no much longer an option.

He claimed he partially based his evaluation on Yanez’s statements to authorities that he saw Castile make a “C-grip” to put his hand roughly a dark thing at his appropriate side.

“When (Yanez) stated he witnessed that C-grip … it is Castile pulling it … I believed that to be a significant and extraordinary detail,” Dutton said.

He walk on to say the Yanez supplied “due caution” to avoid injury to the two passengers in the auto — Castile’s girlfriend, Diamond Reynolds, and her 4-year-old daughter — when the stepped to the left that the vehicle and pointed his gun downward before firing.

Earlier testimony from authorities that processed the scene shown that one cartridge hit one armrest in between Castile and also Reynolds and that one more hit the back seat, about 16 inches from whereby Reynolds’ boy was strapped into a auto seat.

Dutton included that Yanez’s ability to accurately explain Castile’s handgun after ~ the shooting indicated that told the truth.


But prosecutor Jeffrey Paulsen wondered about Dutton’s evaluation by questioning him to describe inconsistencies in Yanez’s statements. Specifically, that asked why Yanez first said come a police supervisor that interviewed him in ~ the scene the he didn’t understand where the pistol was.

Dutton said Yanez supposed he didn’t understand where the pistol was as soon as Castile first said he had one, however that the “soon found out its location.”

“So room you saying that when Officer Yanez said, ‘I don’t know where the gun was,’ he yes, really did understand where the gun was?” Paulsen asked.

Dutton said Paulsen was acquisition Yanez’s comment “out of context.”

Paulsen likewise questioned Dutton’s decision to omit from his analysis comments do by Castile and also Reynolds — specifically Castile’s response of “I’m no pulling it out” in answer to Yanez’s command.

Dutton claimed he excluded those comments because he uncovered them “irrelevant.”

Paulsen further tested Dutton’s assertion that Castile did not comply as soon as in reality he had produced the insurance card Yanez had requested and was most likely trying to acquire the driver’s patent in his wallet when Yanez unexpectedly shot him.

However, Dutton stated that Castile was going because that his wallet, and also said rather that he had actually his hand on his gun when Yanez fired.

Paulsen additionally pointed out that Castile’s gun didn’t have actually a round in the chamber at the time. And he listed that the “C-grip” of Castile’s hand can have been about his seat belt together he tried to unbuckle that to gain to his wallet.

“So space you saying (Castile) was trying to pull out the gun and also shoot the officer?” Paulsen lastly asked.

“I know he to be pulling out the gun. … ns don’t know if he to be going to shoot,” Dutton said. He included it would be reasonable to assume Castile’s arrangement was come fire the weapon.

Dutton’s testimony was at odds through assertions made by a start witness on Wednesday. The witness, additionally a previous officer and police use-of-force expert, testified the Yanez’s decision to shoot Castile was “objectively unreasonable.”


Other testimony Thursday concentrated on wherein other policemans who comment to the shooting spotted Castile’s gun after his body was removed from the car.

Two Roseville police officers, including the one who states he actually gotten rid of the gun, said they observed it hanging the end of Castile’s bag when officers were preparing Castile’s human body to be invited onto a gurney.

A St. Paul firefighter in ~ the scene testified that he heard Castile’s gun loss out the his pocket and also “clang” on the ground. One more St. Paul firefighter testified previously that he saw a police officer with “deep” inside Castile’s pocket to retrieve it.


The defense likewise called its very own toxicology experienced to the was standing Thursday to weigh in top top the proof of marijuana use uncovered in Castile’s system during his autopsy.

The former forensic scientist because that the Minnesota bureau of Criminal Apprehension testified that the THC levels to be “very high” and that Castile was without doubt under the influence of marijuana at the moment of the shooting.

However, a toxicology experienced for the state formerly testified the scholarly posts indicate THC found in postmortem blood samples can not accurately identify the time the person last provided marijuana due to the fact that of the means the body tissues start decomposing at death.

Upon cross-examination by prosecutors, the defense expert said he didn’t depend on such literature to render his opinion.

He recognized that postmortem samples room not as trusted as live samples.


The instructor at the gun range in Ramsey where Castile take it his permit-to-carry security class additionally testified Thursday.

James Diehl claimed he teaches studentsthat, as soon as they’re pulled end by police, first to tell policemans they have actually a allow to carry. Then they have to say they have a firearm on them, Diehl said. He said he likewise tells them come follow every police regulates while keeping their hand visible.

“Why is that?” Gray asked.

“Mentioning you have a firearm before you say you have actually a allow could impact the officer’s (mind-set),” Diehl said.

“And cause chaos?” Gray asked.

“Correct,” Diehl replied.

Under cross-examination, Diehl stated Minnesotans through a patent to lug a firearm are not forced by regulation to disclose come a police officer the they have a gun.

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Defense attorneys will continue calling witnesses Friday morning. Yanez is meant to testify in his own defense and could take the stand sometime Friday.