Jury Hears Key Evidence in Yanez Manslaughter Trial
ST. PAUL, Minn. (AP) — A Minnesota police officer who responded after another officer fatally shot a black motorist says he saw a gun sliding out of the man's front right pocket.
Roseville police Officer Juan Toran testified Tuesday that he was performing CPR on Philando Castile and he saw the gun as paramedics rolled Castile onto a backboard. Toran says he shouted "Gun!" and removed it.
Castile was fatally shot July 6 by St. Anthony police Officer Jeronimo Yanez after he told Yanez he had a gun. Yanez is on trial for manslaughter.
St. Paul paramedic Eric Torgerson testified that he saw an officer reach deep into Castile's pocket to pull out the gun. He didn't see it sliding out of the pocket.
Yanez's attorneys have said he reacted to the presence of a gun, but prosecutors say Yanez's actions were unreasonable.
A Minnesota police officer who fatally shot a black motorist can be heard on squad car audio afterward telling a fellow officer that he doesn't know where the motorist's gun was.
The audiotape is key evidence in Officer Jeronimo Yanez's manslaughter trial in the death of 32-year-old Philando Castile last July in a St. Paul suburb.
Castile had a permit to carry a handgun and told Yanez when he approached his car that he was carrying a gun. A little over a minute later, Castile was fatally wounded.
Yanez's attorneys say he reacted properly to the presence of a gun. They also said in opening statements that Castile's hand was on the grip of his gun.
On the audiotape, Yanez can be heard telling a fellow officer, "I don't know where the gun was."
Yanez's partner, Joseph Kauser, testified Tuesday that Yanez later told him that he saw a gun on Castile.
The police officer backing up his partner in a Minnesota traffic stop that led to the death of a motorist last year says there wasn't enough concern ahead of the stop to treat it as a felony stop.
Officer Joseph Kauser says his partner, Jeronimo Yanez, told him he thought driver Philando Castile resembled a suspect in a recent armed robbery. But Kauser said there wasn't enough concern to handle the stop as high-risk, in which occupants are ordered out of the car with their hands up before officers approach.
Instead, it was treated as "stop and ID."
Kauser stood on the passenger side of the car. He says he didn't see anything alarming before Yanez fired several shots into the car, killing Castile. But he said his job was to watch the passengers, not the driver.
Yanez is charged with manslaughter in Castile's death. His attorneys say he acted reasonably in response to a gun.