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Philando Castile Traffic Stop Shooting Footage Released

STEVE INSKEEP, HOST:

We now have a new angle of a police shooting captured on video. Facebook video showed the aftermath of the shooting of Philando Castile in Minnesota. Officer Jeronimo Yanez was acquitted in the death. Now authorities have released a police dashboard camera video showing the seconds of the shooting itself. A warning here, some people will find the sounds in the next two minutes or so disturbing.

Here's Minnesota Public Radio's Tim Nelson.

TIM NELSON, BYLINE: The fatal encounter started on a suburban street just outside Minneapolis. Jeronimo Yanez pulled over Philando Castile, a 32-year-old school cafeteria supervisor.

(SOUNDBITE OF ARCHIVED RECORDING)

PHILANDO CASTILE: How are you?

JERONIMO YANEZ: Good. The reason I pulled you over, your break lights are out.

NELSON: That's among the hours of video and audio recordings released yesterday, along with a 2,100-page report.

(SOUNDBITE OF ARCHIVED RECORDING)

YANEZ: You have your license and registration?

NELSON: It's the first time people outside a courtroom have seen what happened, including what led to the stop, the officer's suspicion that the driver he was pulling over might have a connection to a recent robbery by two black men. Yanez radioed an officer nearby.

(SOUNDBITE OF ARCHIVED RECORDING)

YANEZ: The driver looks more like one of our suspects just 'cause of the wide-set nose.

NELSON: After Castile pulled over and started to speak to the officer, the encounter soon turned violent. Squad car dash cam video recorded the conversation and a warning here. The exchange turned disturbing quickly.

(SOUNDBITE OF ARCHIVED RECORDING)

CASTILE: Sir, I have to tell you, I do have a...

YANEZ: OK.

CASTILE: ...Firearm on me.

YANEZ: OK, don't reach for it then.

CASTILE: I'm reaching for...

YANEZ: Don't pull it out.

CASTILE: I'm not pulling it out.

YANEZ: Don't pull it out.

NELSON: He fired seven times.

(SOUNDBITE OF ARCHIVED RECORDING)

CASTILE: I wasn't reaching.

UNIDENTIFIED WOMAN: He wasn't reaching.

NELSON: I wasn't reaching - those were among Castile's last words. Two bullets hit him in the heart, and he died minutes later. Bullets struck the seat beside Castile's girlfriend and nearly hit her 4-year-old daughter. The next day, Yanez was interviewed by a state investigator. The recording was just released.

(SOUNDBITE OF ARCHIVED RECORDING)

YANEZ: I thought he had the gun in his hand, in his right hand. And I thought he had it enough to where all he had to do is just pull it out, point it at me, move his trigger finger down the trigger and let off rounds. And I had no other option than to take out my firearm, and I shot.

NELSON: Prosecutors said Castile was only doing what he was told, trying to get his wallet and give his license to the officer and that no reasonable officer would have fired. In his wallet, Castile also had a gun permit. Juror Bonita Schultz told KARE-TV that no one but Yanez really knows what happened.

(SOUNDBITE OF ARCHIVED RECORDING)

BONITA SCHULTZ: You don't know. And the state didn't prove that he was dishonest. He - four years as a police man, he was very honest. So we kind of took his word for it, I think.

NELSON: Yanez is a free man, although no longer employed as a police officer. Castile's family says they're already planning to file a civil lawsuit in federal court. For NPR News, I'm Tim Nelson in St. Paul. Transcript provided by NPR, Copyright NPR.