(ANTIMEDIA) — A transcript released Tuesday by Minnesota’s Bureau of Criminal Apprehension reveals that former officer Jeronimo Yanez originally told investigators he shot Philando Castile seven times because the smell of marijuana made him fear for his life.
The shooting death of Philando Castile sparked outrage across the nation last July when Castile’s fiance, Diamond Reynolds, live streamed the moments following the shooting to Facebook, calmly explaining the situation while Yanez kept his gun trained on Castile, who lay dying next to her.
Yanez was acquitted of all charges last Friday.
The interview contained in the transcript was a point of contention during the trial, as prosecutors were permitted to reference its contents when cross-examining Yanez but were not permitted to introduce it as evidence, and jurors were denied their request to see the transcript during deliberations.
During the interview on July 6th, the day after the shooting, Yanez told investigators that he didn’t remember how many rounds he let off or exactly what he said, but he specifically remembered his particularly complex line of thinking. As he told investigators:
“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.”
Although Yanez pulled Castile over for a broken taillight, the former officer claims his “wide-set nose” matched the description of an armed robbery suspect, which he attempted to link to the marijuana smell. “Being that … the inside of the vehicle smelled like marijuana um I didn’t know if he was keeping it on him for protection, for, from a, a drug dealer or anything like that,” he said.
The transcript released on Tuesday was just a small part of the information collected throughout the investigation. Also released was police dash-cam footage of the exchange, which shows Yanez approaching the vehicle and informing Castile he has been pulled over for a broken brake light, opening fire seconds after Castile is heard telling the officer he has a gun.
Castile’s family plans to file a civil suit against Yanez. “My son loved this city and this city killed my son and the murderer gets away,” Valerie Castile, Philando’s mother, said at a press conference after hearing the verdict.
Since you’re here…
…We have a small favor to ask. Fewer and fewer people are seeing Anti-Media articles as social media sites crack down on us, and advertising revenues across the board are quickly declining. However, unlike many news organizations, we haven’t put up a paywall because we value open and accessible journalism over profit — but at this point, we’re barely even breaking even. Hopefully, you can see why we need to ask for your help. Anti-Media’s independent journalism and analysis takes substantial time, resources, and effort to produce, but we do it because we believe in our message and hope you do, too.
If everyone who reads our reporting and finds value in it helps fund it, our future can be much more secure. For as little as $1 and a minute of your time, you can support Anti-Media. Thank you. Click here to support us