Officer: Marijuana smell made him feel in danger

FILE - In this May 30, 2017, file photo, St. Anthony police officer Jeronimo Yanez stands outside the Ramsey County Courthouse while waiting for a ride in St. Paul, Minn. (David Joles/Star Tribune via AP, File)


MINNEAPOLIS (AP) — A Minnesota police officer told investigators after he shot a black motorist that the smell of marijuana from the man’s car was part of why he considered the man a threat.

Officer Jeronimo Yanez killed Philando Castile during a traffic stop last July. Castile’s girlfriend and her daughter were in the car. Yanez told investigators the next day that he believed he saw Castile pulling out a gun.

According to a transcript released Tuesday, Yanez said he thought that if Castile had “the guts and audacity” to smoke marijuana in front of the child and “risk her lungs and risk her life” with secondhand smoke, then Castile didn’t care about him either.

The defense claimed during Yanez’s manslaughter trial that Castile disregarded commands because he was stoned. Prosecutors contend Castile wasn’t going for his gun and Yanez never saw it.


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