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Lawyer: Minn. Cop Was Reacting to Gun, Not Race

Says Philando Castile's death wasn't racially motivated
By Polly Davis Doig,  Newser Staff
Posted Jul 10, 2016 7:31 AM CDT
Lawyer: Minn. Cop Was Reacting to Gun, Not Race
In this Friday, July 8, 2016 photo, Rue Norman, 19, right, cries as she prays with Olivia Gruver, 19, at a memorial on the roadside near where Philando Castile was killed in St. Paul, Minn. Castile was killed by St. Anthony Police Officer Jeronimo Yanez during a traffic stop.   (Isaac Hale/Star Tribune via AP)

(Newser) – The Minnesota officer who fatally shot Philando Castile as he was reaching for his wallet during a traffic stop did so because of "the presence of that gun and the display of that gun," his lawyer tells the AP. "This had nothing to do with race. This had everything to do with the presence of a gun," Minneapolis lawyer Thomas Kelly said of his client, officer Jeronimo Yanez, who he says is "overcome with sadness" over Castile's death. Yanez, 28, "was reacting to the actions of the driver." Yanez, a four-year veteran of the St. Anthony Police Department, is currently on administrative leave, notes USA Today, along with officer Joseph Kauser, who was also present during the traffic stop. (Read more Philando Castile stories.)

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