In the newly released footage of the Minnesota Police Officer Jeronimo Yanez’s traffic stop of Philando Castille, there are signs of disturbing chaos, as a seemingly casual ticket over brake lights turns into a scene of death in a matter of seconds.
In the dashcam footage Officer Yanez can be seen stopping the vehicle driven by Philando Castille, with Yanez approaching the driver's window and calmly telling the driver that he's being stopped for a brake light being out.
The officer is friendly and respectful. When Yanez asks Castille for his ID however the climate quickly shifts from polite to serious as Castille can be heard saying, "Sir, I have to tell you, I do have a firearm on me.”
Officer Yanez can be seen the reach for his holster calmly in the event of immediate protection which is the protocol for such a situation and can be heard replying,” OK. Don't reach for it then." There is shouting, and Yanez screams "Don't pull it out!" before firing into the car.
According to Officer Yanez Castille continues to pull out the firearm even after being ordered not to. At which time in his own mind it was self-defense as he fired into the car. Seven times.
The video is very disturbing and not easy on the eyes. Yanez’s accompanied backup Officer Joseph Kauser can be seen near the passenger side of the car jumping unexpectedly as the gunshots ring out.
Then the most heartbreaking moment occurs when the passenger, Diamond Reynolds, very own four-year-old daughter can be seen fleeing from the back seat of the car to the backup officer.
Yes, the child had to innocently witness the entire event regardless of whom was at fault. The unfortunate situation that will likely torment her for years to come.
Miss Reynolds during the moments after the shooting became infamous and hated for streaming the aftermath of the officer-involved shooting on Facebook Live. The video itself was seen over 250 million times. Philando Castille can be seen literally taking his last breaths in that now infamous video.
She drew sharp criticism from every perspective of the situation for her tone and rhetoric as the video was streaming. She seemingly cared more about the coverage on Facebook than her own boyfriend dying beside her.
The entire situation is horrible. The officer was a respected law enforcement agent who'd intended to simply write a ticket that day. It's clear in the video he felt his life was in danger and had the right to shoot, however it did seem as if he panicked a bit but it's not for any of us to determine how he actually felt at the time of the shooting as an unknown man was reaching for a gun.
Soon after other officers arrived and order Reynolds out of the car, and she gets out, hands held high. Soon, she is heard wailing.
A fellow officer speaks repeatedly to Yanez to get him away from the car: "I'm going to take your spot. I'm going to take your spot. Listen, listen, I'm going to take your spot." Yanez slowly walks away, and another officer says: "You all right? You all right? You're not hit any, are you?"
Yanez can be heard on the tape saying he wasn't sure where the gun was. Critics say that implied Castille wasn't trying to grab a gun. However, a gun was indeed recovered and Castille can be heard saying he had it on this tape.
In the trial, Yanez testified, "What I meant by that was I didn't know where the gun was up until I saw it in his right thigh area."
What's certain is that officers definitely need more training and to have a backup with them whenever approaching a vehicle. Such to prevent their own safety from being endangered as well as the lives of the public.
It's terribly tragic for Philando Castille family as well, including the child who witnessed the killing. All around just a horrible situation for all parties involved.
Yanez, who was found not guilty of manslaughter and other charges, had suggested the event has traumatized him. He is no longer employed with the police department.
The acquittal, however, sparked immediate protests that have been ongoing for days.