Cop's lawyer blames driver's gun, not his race — APNewsBreak

At a vigil Thursday evening outside the Montessori school where Castile worked, his mother, Valerie Castile, called her son "an angel".

Diamond Reynolds, girlfriend of Philando Castile, cries during a protest in St. Paul, Minnesota on July 7, 2016.

The shooting of 32-year-old Castile, the aftermath of which was live-streamed on Facebook by his girlfriend, came soon after the release of a video of another black man's death at the hands of police in Louisiana, and together the two events have sparked nationwide outrage and protests.

State investigators said the two officers involved were Jeronimo Yanez and Joseph Kauser, both four-year veterans of the St. Anthony Police Department, with Yanez identified as the shooter.

Rashad Turner, a Black Lives Matter St. Paul leader, said he believed police racially profiled Castile, which led to his shooting.

Tragically, the use of force became necessary in reacting to the actions of Mr. Castile. "This had nothing to do with race". Dayton later said he stood by his statement, even though he angered some in law enforcement.

Meanwhile, the Star Tribune reported a source confirms Philando Castile was issued a permit to carry a gun while he lived in Robbinsdale.

"Police understand the concerns about choices made about who gets stopped and what happens when they get stopped", said Darrel Stephens, executive director of the Major Cities Chiefs Association. At one point during the exchange, Yanez fired his weapon, striking Castile multiple times, according to the BCA.

Yanez approached Castile's vehicle from the driver's side, and Kauser from the passenger side, according to the Minnesota Bureau of Criminal Apprehension.

Yanez's position with the 23-member department was his first in law enforcement, after jobs in security and contract immigration compliance work, Kelly said.

"We must do better in our state and in our nation to improve police-community interactions to ensure the safety of everyone in this country, but particularly the safety of African Americans, who disproportionately lose their lives as a result", Choi said during a news conference Friday. He and Kauser were classmates.

Christian Dobratz, a former assistant professor at the university, said both officers excelled in courses on tactics and emergency response techniques.

Yanez "is an intelligent person, he has a lot of common sense", Dobratz said.

In 2014, the department selected Yanez to be part of a special crime prevention unit, whose members were hand-picked based on "their initiative, creativeness and varied backgrounds in law enforcement, " according to the department's annual report. Or was he targeted by officers who single out black motorists like him for such stops, as several of his family members have alleged?

"He's very upset about this bad tragedy", Kelly said. "He would drive around and stop and talk, and get out of the auto, meet people and say hello".

Thomas Kelly, who represents Yanez through the police union, told the NewsHour in a phone interview that such investigations can take as long as 18 months, but said "I'm not concerned about criminal proceedings here and I don't think he is either".

Several videos, including squad vehicle video, have been collected, though St. Anthony officers don't wear body cameras, authorities said.

Reynolds claimed the officer had pulled them over ostensibly for a busted taillight. The video shows her in a auto next to a bloodied Castile slumped in a seat. She said one of the officers shot him "for no apparent reason" after he reached for his ID. He said client was reacting to "actions" of Castile when he shot him. "He was just getting his license and registration, sir", Reynolds calmly responds.

The incident occurred after Castile and his family were pulled over for a routine traffic stop involving a broken taillight. Paul area since 2002.

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