On Tuesday afternoon, Ramsey County, MN, released footage showing the 2016 shooting death of Philando Castile from a previously unseen perspective—that of the officers involved in his death.
The video, released Tuesday by the Minnesota Bureau of Criminal Apprehension, was shown to jurors during the criminal trial against the man who shot and killed Castile, Officer Jeronimo Yanez, in which he was charged with manslaughter.
That trial ended in a not guilty verdict. Jurors who watched the footage accepted Yanez’s version of events, agreeing that he had a reasonable enough fear of Castile to be justified in shooting him.
The footage, taken from the dashcam of a St. Anthony Police cruiser, shows just how quick Yanez’s decision to shoot Castile was. Just seven seconds elapse from the moment Castile informs Yanez that he has a weapon—one he was legally allowed to carry—to the moment Yanez opens fire, shooting into the car seven times.
In it, we see Yanez and Officer Joseph Kauser trailing Castile’s white Oldsmobile for several blocks before pulling it over in the St. Paul suburb of Falcon Heights. After briefly explaining to Castile that he was stopped for a broken brake light—an excuse which contradicts later police claims that Castile had, in fact, been pulled over for allegedly resembling a suspect in a spate of recent robberies due to his “wide-set nose”—Yanez asks to see a driver’s license. It’s at this point that Castile can be heard explaining that he has a firearm.
“Don’t reach for it, though” Yanez replies, adding, “don’t pull it out.”
“I’m not pulling it out,” Castile says, at which point Yanez draws his weapon and begins firing it into the car.
WARNING: GRAPHIC FOOTAGE
Due to the distance and tinting on the Oldsmobile’s windows, it’s impossible to see into the vehicle during the exchange.
Almost immediately after Yanez stops firing, Castile’s passenger—Diamond Reynolds, whose livestreamed footage of the aftermath of the incident became a touchstone of the Black Lives Matter movement—can be heard exclaiming, “you killed my boyfriend.” It is roughly at this point that Reynolds’ footage, taken from the passenger seat of the car, begins.
The video continues for several minutes after the shooting, and goes on to show Yanez shouting “get the baby girl out of here” as Reynold’s four-year-old daughter exits the vehicle. As more officers and emergency personnel arrive, the footage shows the attempts to revive Castile using CPR, before he is put on a stretcher. He died 20 minutes after Yanez shot him.