Authorities on Tuesday released graphic dashcam footage of officer Jeronimo Yanez firing seven shots into Philando Castile's car last year, killing him as viewers watched the aftermath on Facebook Live.
The video and other data collected in the investigation was released following Yanez's acquittal last Friday in the July 6 killing that thrust Minnesota into the national debate over police use of force and racial profiling.
The video released by the Minnesota Bureau of Criminal Apprehension (BCA) and Ramsey County Attorney's office starts about 9:05 p.m. as Yanez activates his squad lights to pull Castile over on Larpenteur Avenue near Fry Street in Falcon Heights for a nonworking brake light, and to see if he is the suspect in an armed robbery from four days earlier. Radio traffic said Yanez pulled over Castile because of they "just look like people that were involved in a robbery" because of Castile's "wide set nose."
Yanez met with two special agents from the BCA at 1:42 the day after the shooting, accompanied by two attorneys, Tom Kelly and Robert Fowler. His attorneys noted Yanez had only gotten a couple hours of sleep.
It had been a slow night. Yanez had only pulled over two people since starting his shift at 6 p.m. He was keeping a close eye on the gas station in light of the recent robbery. He saw a car drive by and believed at least one of the occupants matched a description of one of the robbers. When the agents asked Yanez in the interview about the description, he couldn't offer many details, other than they were both African-American. He wasn't sure about height, weight or even gender. One had a hat on. One had corn rows or dreadlocks.
"And then just kind of distinct facial features with like a kind of like a wide set nose."
He pulled the car over and signaled to his partner that he might need backup. When he approached the car, he smelled burnt marijuana, he told the agents. He didn't tell this to the driver because "I didn't want to scare him or have him react in a defensive manner."
The driver said he had a gun. I told him not to reach for it. "It appeared to me that he had no regard to what I was saying. He didn't care what I was saying. He still reached down."
Castile kept his left hand on the steering wheel and his body placement made it difficult for Yanez to see his right hand. He feared that Castile may be reaching for the gun in his waistband or perhaps between the seats.
"And at that point I was scared and I was in fear for my life and my partner's life. And for the little girl in the back and the front seat passenger and he dropped his hand down and I can't remember what I was telling him but I was telling him something as his hand went down I think."
He said that because Castile appeared to have been smoking marijuana he may have kept the gun for protection from a drug dealer or someone trying to "rip" from him.
Castile appeared to be grabbing something, "almost like if I were to put a hand around my gun."
Then he fired.
"I remember smelling the gun smoke and the bright flashes from the muzzle. And then I heard, a couple pops from my firearm."
He said he tried to point the gun away from the little girl in the back seat.
The dashcam video shows how the routine traffic stop turns deadly in about a minute. Yanez said he shot Castile seven times because he believed Castile was reaching for a firearm that he told the officer he had. In an interview with the BCA, Yanez said he assumed Castile would be reckless because he smelled marijuana.
"Uh but uh as that was happening as he was pulling at, out his hand I thought, I was gonna die and I thought if he's, if he has the, the guts and the audacity to smoke marijuana in front of the five year old girl and risk her lungs and risk her life by giving her secondhand smoke and the front seat passenger doing the same thing then what, what care does he give about me?"
Yanez told the special agents some of the first words Castile said to him were "he had a gun." Yanez said he feared for his life and believed he saw a gun in Castile's hand. "I thought he had the gun in his hand, in his right hand."
"I had no other option than to take out my firearm and, and I shot. Um I shot him. I don't remember the first couple shots."
The sequence of events went as follows:
* 9:05 p.m.: Castile's Oldsmobile comes to a complete stop.
* 9:05:15 p.m. to 9:05:22 p.m.: Yanez approaches the driver's window. Castile is buckled in his seat belt.
* 9:05:22 p.m. to 9:05:38 p.m.: Yanez greets Castile and tells him that the interior brake light on his back seat is not working.
* 9:05:33 p.m.: Yanez's partner, officer Joseph Kauser, approaches the rear passenger side of Castile's car.
* 9:05:38 p.m.: Yanez asks Castile for his driver's license and proof of insurance.
* 9:05:48 p.m. to 9:05:52 p.m.: Castile gives Yanez the insurance information, which the officer inspects and tucks into his breast pocket.
* 9:05:52 p.m. to 9:05:55 p.m.: "Sir, I have to tell you that I do have a firearm on me," Castile voluntarily tells Yanez.
The officer interrupts Castile before he can finish.
"OK," Yanez says as he places his right hand on his holstered gun.
* 9:05:55 p.m. to 9:06:02 p.m.: "OK, don't reach for it, then," Yanez says.
Castile's response is partly inaudible. Yanez interrupts him.
"Don't pull it out," Yanez says.
"I'm not pulling it out," Castile says.
"He's not pulling it out," Reynolds says.
Yanez screams, "Don't pull it out!"
The officer pulls his own gun with his right hand while he reaches inside the driver's side window with his left hand. Yanez removes his left hand and fires seven shots. Castile is struck by five rounds, two of them tear through his heart.
* 9:06:03 p.m. to 9:06:05 p.m.: "You just killed my boyfriend!" yells Castile's girlfriend, Diamond Reynolds, from the front passenger seat.
"I wasn't reaching for it," Castile says as he moans.
* 9:06:05 p.m. to 9:06:09 p.m.: "He wasn't reaching for it!" Reynolds says.
"Don't pull it out!" Yanez screams, interrupting Reynolds.
"He wasn't," Reynolds responds.
"Don't move!" Yanez yells. "[Expletive]!"
The dashcam video also shows Reynolds' daughter, then 4, exiting the back passenger door on her own. Kauser quickly scoops up the girl.
An officer arrives and order Reynolds out of the car as she live streams the aftermath on Facebook in a video that would go on to draw millions of viewers worldwide. Several other officers soon arrive, and two eventually pull Castile out of the car and onto the pavement where they begin CPR.
Yanez walks off screen at one point, and begins recounting the incident to his supervisor. The conversation is recorded through his microphone but is not filmed on the dashcam.