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Police Officer Fatally Shoots Black Man During Traffic Stop Near St. Paul

Source: Stephen Maturen / Getty

New reports in the shooting death of Philando Castile by police officers in Falcon Heights, Minnesota have emerged. The St. Anthony cop who ended Castile’s life during a traffic stop is asking a judge to drop the manslaughter charge. He argues it was Castile’s own actions that contributed to his death.

From The Star TribuneLawyers for Jeronimo Yanez filed a motion to dismiss the manslaughter charge filed against him in November. In an eight-page memo supporting the motion, lawyer Earl Gray wrote that Castile was culpably negligent in his own death because he had created “unreasonable risk” and took chances that caused his death.

If Castile was negligent, then Gray wrote that Yanez would be exonerated. The officer remains on paid administrative leave.

According to the Ramsey County District Court charge filed in November against Yanez, the officer incorrectly thought Castile, 32, matched the description of a robbery suspect and pulled him over on Larpenteur Avenue in Falcon Heights. Castile told Yanez he had a gun, for which he had a valid permit to carry. Yanez thought Castile was reaching for his gun, which Castile denied before he was shot.

Seven shots were fired at Castile while his girlfriend Diamond Reynolds and her 4-year-old daughter looked on. The site goes on to explain cops’ argument that Castile was high and not cooperative: Gray said that autopsy results indicated Castile has high levels of THC in his blood, the chemical responsible for marijuana’s psychological effects, and was “stoned” while driving that day. The memo said Reynolds confirmed that the two were “smokers,” had marijuana in the car and had smoked marijuana before the stop that day.

“The status of being stoned (in an acute and chronic sense) explains why Mr. Castile, 1) did not follow the repeated directions of Officer Yanez; 2) stared straight ahead and avoided eye-contact; 3) never mentioned that he had a carry permit, but instead said he had a gun; and 4) did not show his hands,” the memo said.

Click here for more on the case of Philando Castile. We will continue to keep you updated as more news surfaces.

SOURCE: Star Tribune

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