Philando Castile was ‘Substantial Cause of His Own Death’ Says Lawyer for Killer Cop

Despite the overwhelming evidence to the contrary, and the statements made by the district attorney who is convinced of Yanez's guilt, demands for killer cop Jeronimo Yanez's charges to be dropped continue.

Philando Castile

The attorney for killer cop Jeronimo Yanez has released a statement blaming Philando Castile for his own death, demanding that the manslaughter and other charges associated with the killing be dropped. The lawyers for Yanez are using the results of the toxicology section of the autopsy report that came back, showing that Castile had “high levels” of marijuana in his system; justifying their claims that Castile was negligent in his behavior. They attest that he was high at the time and as such, unable to respond to the officer’s commands, ultimately making him negligent in his own death.

Philando Castile
Officer Jeronimo Yanez

Yanez was charged with manslaughter after the prosecutor reviewed video from the body and dash cameras used by Yanez and other officers on scene. They found that he acted unlawfully in the shooting, however, his attorneys are now attempting to get the case dropped. “He should not even have been driving while under the influence. He should have showed his hands. He should not have reached for the handgun,” stated Earl Gray, an attorney for Yanez. His argument is that Castile, due to his intoxication, never told the officer about having a permit, and was unable to follow commands. He clings to the story that Castile reached for the firearm, despite the prosecutor having previously stated that he needs more than just the officer’s arbitrary fear for a justifiable defense.

Philando Castile
Philando Castile

According to John J. Choi, the Ramsey County Attorney, “No reasonable officer – knowing, seeing and hearing what Officer Yanez did at the time – would have used deadly force under these circumstances.” Choi charged Yanez with two counts of unlawful discharge of a firearm on top of the manslaughter charge. The attorney for Yanez, Earl Gray, attempts to obfuscate the facts by pointing out that the conversation did not include the permit, however, as the prosecutor had stated, Castile clearly told him that he had a firearm. “Sir, I do have to tell you that I do have a firearm on me.”

According to Choi, Yanez became aggressive yelling, “Don’t pull it out.” Both Castile and his girlfriend Diamond Reynolds can be heard pleading with the officer that he was not grabbing for it. Seconds later, shots were fired. Castile’s last words were, “I wasn’t reaching for it.”

Philando Castile
District Attorney John J. Choi

Despite the fact that Castile had been profiled and pulled over for minor traffic offenses on dozens of occasions, and even though the dispatch audio recordings of the stop captured Yanez blatantly racially profiling him – using his “wide set nose” as the basis for the stop – Yanez’s lawyer claimed that race was not an issue. “This had nothing to do with race and everything to do with the presence of the gun that Mr. Castile had,” stated Thomas Kelly, one of Yanez’s attorneys.

Despite the overwhelming evidence to the contrary, and the statements made by the district attorney who is convinced of Yanez’s guilt, Gray is sticking to the story that his client acted in self defense “but more importantly why Mr. Castile himself was culpably negligent and was the substantial cause of his own death.”

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