The Minnesota officer facing manslaughter charges for fatally shooting Philando Castile claimed he “had no choice” when he testified to jurors Friday.
“I was scared to death. I thought I was going to die. My family popped into my head. My wife. My baby girl,” said Officer Jeronimo Yanez. ”I had no other choice. I was forced to engage Mr. Castile.“
Yanez fatally shot Castile in his car last year while his fiance, Diamond Reynolds, and 4-year-old daughter were sitting in the vehicle. Reynolds then live streamed the aftermath.
Yanez was emotional throughout his testimony, claiming that fear overtook him during his exchange with Castile. He believed Castile was a robbery suspect.
”I did not want to shoot Mr. Castile. Those were not my intentions,“ he said, implying that he had to once Castile refused to follow his requests. He also said that he felt the use of necessary force was warranted.
Attorneys for Yanez stated their client had no choice but to shoot Castile after claiming he saw a gun.