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Attorney: Officer 'did what he had to do' in driver shooting

14 June 2017

Things escalated quickly from there, with Yanez opening fire five seconds later and striking the 32-year-old cafeteria worker with five of the seven shots he fired. Castile's gun permit was later found in his wallet.

The jury heard closing arguments Monday and deliberated for about a half-day. They resumed deliberations on Tuesday morning. "The 47-year-old Minneapolis man has been wearing a T-shirt with Philando Castile's photo that says "Justice 4 Philando", and "Hands Up Don't Shoot", with the hashtag "#BlackLivesMatter". Castile disclosed he was carrying a licensed handgun.

Both videos were played several times at trial. The jury includes no Latino members.

In his statement to the BCA about what he saw in Castile's hand, Paulsen claimed Yanez said, "I know he had an object and it was dark".

Yanez, who pleaded not guilty, testified on Friday that Castile disregarded the officer's commands and began reaching for a firearm he had disclosed he had in his possession. There is a gun and there is a threat and if Officer Yanez is convicted or even remains in the system with a hung jury, then there isn't one use of force that couldn't come under the same scrutiny.

"We have this fellow who looks like the robbery (suspect), he (the officer) smells marijuana, and he says, "Don't reach for it" - and he (Castile) is ignoring him", Gray said Monday.

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According to Gray, Castile did not follow Yanez's orders because he was high on marijuana.

Other officers soon arrived and Yanez is heard cursing and saying he told Castile to stop.

Gray says the case is a classic example why guns and drugs don't mix.

A small group of people who support a black motorist killed by a police officer have gathered at a Minnesota courthouse to await a verdict in the manslaughter trial of the officer who shot him last summer.

The case from the Assistant Ramsey County Prosecutor Jeff Paulsen in his closing statement was that "Officer Yanez used deadly force as a first option rather than a last resort". He reminded the jury that a bullet hit Castile in what would have been his trigger finger - but there was no bullet damage around his pocket where he had the gun.

The jury also made a request to view the transcript of the BCA interview conducted with Yanez, however, the judge denied that request because it was never submitted as evidence.

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The top headlines from JournalStar.com. Clarence Castile, uncle of Philando Castile, leaves the Ramsey County Courthouse in St. Paul, Minn. on Monday, June 12, 2017.

After he shot Castile, Yanez is heard on squad vehicle video telling a supervisor variously that he didn't know where Castile's gun was, then that he told Castile to get his hand off it.

Ramsey County District Judge William Leary III provided jury instructions after he dismissed the court for lunch Monday afternoon. They were to present their closing argument later Monday.

Yanez faces one count of second-degree manslaughter and two counts of risky discharge of a firearm for endangering the lives of Castile's girlfriend, Diamond Reynolds, and her 4-year-old daughter when he fired seven bullets into the vehicle.

Castile's July 2016 killing received worldwide attention when his girlfriend, Diamond Reynolds, who was in the auto with her 4-year-old daughter, live-streamed the immediate aftermath on Facebook.

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