ST. PAUL, Minn (WCCO) — The girlfriend of a man killed by a St. Anthony police officer took the stand Tuesday, reliving a night she’ll never forget.
Attorneys for Yanez say he fired his gun in self-defense. He faces manslaughter charges for the shooting.
Reynolds was on the stand much of Tuesday morning to recount the events leading up to the shooting. Often, she wiped away tears.
Reynold told jurors Castile was trying to unbuckle his seatbelt to get his wallet just before he was shot, just after he’d told Yanez he had a gun.
The defense was heavily focused on the marijuana use of both Reynolds and Castile.
Reynolds said she has smoked marijuana daily for the past 3 to 4 years. She said she didn’t know about the marijuana in the car before the traffic stop.
The defense also focused on inconsistencies between Reynold’s statement to police and public statements after the shooting.
She said she live-streamed the shooting aftermath because quote “people are not protected by police” and “someone would know the truth.”
She recalled Castile’s final words being, “I can’t breathe.”
Also on the stand was Joe Kauser, the partner who was backing up Yanez.
He said Castile sounded relaxed from what he could hear and didn’t feel threatened standing at the right side.
“I think he followed protocol,” he said. “I trust him as a partner and he did what he had to do in that situation.”
The jury also heard from a couple first responders, including the cop who found Castile’s pistol in his right front pants pocket.
Testimony resumes Wednesday morning.