The video, filmed by the camera of an American policeman when he shot a black motorist, whose last moments had been retransmitted live on Facebook Live, was made public on Tuesday.
The release comes a few days after the acquittal of the 29-year-old police officer, Jeronimo Yanez, who was being prosecuted for manslaughter.
The camera in the officer’s vehicle captured the entire scene, from the moment he stopped the 32-year-old Philando Castile’s car to the first few minutes after the shooting.
In less than 40 seconds, a routine check for broken headlight degenerated into a fatal meeting for the canteen employee who was traveling on July 6, 2016 with his girlfriend and a four-year-old girl in St. Paul, Minnesota.
After the shooting, the young woman had filmed live on Facebook Live her dying companion, blood slowly impregnating her white t-shirt. This sequence shocked public opinion in the United States where several deaths of black men shot by police officers led to demonstrations sometimes turning into a riot.
The on-board video was made public on Tuesday along with other documents of this case. One can hear the police officer explaining that he became “nervous” as they interact.
It shows Jeronimo Yanez approaching the door of the driver of the white vehicle, and explaining to him to have stopped it because of a broken headlight.
Confusion with portfolio
Prosecutors later revealed that the policeman had also found him a resemblance to the suspect of an armed robbery occurred a few days earlier.
Thirty seconds after the beginning of their discussion, Castile said calmly: “Sir, I have to tell you that I have a gun on me,” specifying that he has a license to carry a gun.
Police reply: “So do not catch it,” he repeated several times, while Philando Castile tries to explain to him what he is catching.
It was then that seven gunshots of Yanez’s gun left in the direction of the interior of the car, so close to the victim that the first shots came out while his gun was partly in the cockpit.
At that moment, the girlfriend, Diamond Reynolds, takes out her phone to film the live stage. She explains that Castile was only grabbing his wallet to give the police the identity papers he had asked for.
The policeman later told the investigators to have feared for his life.
Castile “stared straight ahead and I became fucking nervous,” the policeman said in a voice that seemed overwhelmed, out of the camera field. “I told him not to catch him,” he said.
His acquittal Friday for manslaughter and endangerment of Diamond Reynolds and his daughter triggered new protests in Minnesota. Eighteen people were arrested on Saturday.
The federal court has indicated that it is considering the case, to give a possible follow-up on the file.