The officer fired seven times into the car Castile was driving with his girlfriend and her young daughter.
A Minnesota police officer has been charged with second-degree manslaughter for fatally shooting Philando Castile during a July traffic stop in a Minneapolis suburb.
Officer Jeronimo Yanez of the St. Anthony Police Department faces a total of three felony charges: one charge of second-degree manslaughter and two felony counts of dangerous discharge of a firearm, Ramsey County Attorney John Choi announced Wednesday morning.
“There was no objective threat posed to Officer Yanez, Officer [Joseph] Kauser or anyone in that car,” Choi told reporters.
“Philando Castile was not resisting or fleeing. He was respectful and compliant. He volunteered, in good faith, that he had a firearm ― beyond what the law requires,” Choi said, adding, “His dying words were in protest that he wasn’t reaching for his gun.”
Yanez shot Castile, 32, at point-blank range on July 6 during a traffic stop in the suburb of Falcon Heights. Castile’s girlfriend, Diamond Reynolds, was in the car along with her 4-year-old daughter.
Castile, who was licensed for concealed carry, notified Yanez that had a weapon and was licensed for it.
Reynolds recorded the aftermath in a graphic video she posted to Facebook Live. In the video, Castile is seen bleeding in the seat while Reynolds calmly talks to Yanez and questions why he shot Castile.
“The mere mention of a firearm alone doesn’t justify the use of the deadly force,” Choi said Wednesday. Choi said that experts consulted by his office determined that use of force was “not necessary...and was inconsistent with generally accepted police practices.”
A summons rather than a warrant was issued for Yanez after the officer said he will turn himself in.
Castile, a beloved lunchroom supervisor for a St. Paul Montessori School, had previously been cited by police at least 31 times while driving, raising questions about racial profiling practices in the suburban St. Anthony police department.