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Anger at video of police shooting of black driver Philando Castile

The release of dashcam video showing the fatal shooting of a black man during a police traffic stop in Minnesota has sparked new anger.

The film shows the officer who pulled over Philando Castile politely telling the driver his brake lights were out and calmly instructing him not to pull out his handgun, before suddenly drawing his own weapon and firing seven rounds into the car.

The video, taken from St Anthony Police Officer Jeronimo Yanez's squad car, illustrated how a simple traffic stop of a black man shifted in an instant from a routine exchange to a deadly confrontation.

When Officer Yanez opened fire, another officer near the car jumped back, and Officer Yanez began yelling at the driver.

As more police and an ambulance arrived, Officer Yanez could be heard breathing heavily and swearing and trying to explain his actions to fellow officers.

The Latino officer has been acquitted on all counts in the case. Although the squad car footage was described repeatedly and was shown to jurors in the courtroom, it had never been made public until Tuesday.

The shooting on July 6 last year, in the Minneapolis suburb of Falcon Heights, gained widespread attention because Mr Castile's girlfriend, Diamond Reynolds, live-streamed its gruesome aftermath on Facebook.

U nlike Ms Reynolds' video, the squad car video shows the situation's quick escalation and the shooting itself.

Officer Yanez, who was found not guilty of manslaughter and other charges, began firing seconds after Mr Castile told the officer he had a gun.

"Sir, I have to tell you, I do have a firearm on me," Mr Castile said.

Before he finished that sentence, Officer Yanez began pulling his weapon out of the holster. He said: "Okay. Don't reach for it then."

He told the driver twice more not to pull out the weapon and then started firing into the car. After the firing ended, he screamed: "Don't pull it out!"

Mr Castile, a 32-year-old primary school cafeteria worker, had a permit to carry the weapon.

Steven Belton, the black president and chief executive of the Minneapolis Urban League, said the footage was "powerfully painful" and that Mr Castile was "gunned down like a rabid animal".

The footage shows a wide view of the traffic stop and the shooting, with the camera pointed toward Mr Castile's vehicle. It captures what was said between the two men but does not show what happened inside the car or what Officer Yanez saw.

He testified that Mr Castile ignored his commands not to pull out the gun.

After the first shot, Mr Castile's body is thrown to the right. The video shows another officer, Joseph Kauser, standing on the passenger side of the vehicle, retreating when the shots are fired.

When the shooting stops, the video shows Officer Yanez standing at the car window with his gun drawn for some time. Ms Reynolds' then four-year-old daughter starts to get out of the car and is grabbed by an officer.

Officers order Ms Reynolds out of the car, and she gets out, hands held high.



From Belfast Telegraph