Cop's lawyer blames driver's gun, not his race

The shootings in Louisiana, Minnesota and Texas are all in the initial investigation stages.

Dayton spokesman Matt Swenson said the governor and Lt. Gov. Tina Smith met with Castile's family and friends on Saturday afternoon at the mansion. Sterling, who was also black, was shot after a scuffle with officers outside a convenience store. Portions of that shooting were also caught on video. It quickly spread online and sparked several days of protests in the city where 54 percent of the population is black and more than 25 percent live in poverty.

The demonstrations in Baton Rouge had been largely peaceful, but there were some tense moments Friday night and early Saturday. Almost 30 people were arrested.

"His lifelong ambition was to be a police officer", Kelly said.

"It's hard to tell why the officer pulled his weapon. We are working to identify this officer so we can better understand the reason he might have done this", Dunnam wrote.

Yanez and Kauser, both four-year veterans, were put on administrative leave, as is standard, authorities said.

The U.S. Justice Department has opened a civil rights investigation into the shooting.

"We must peacefully use the power of our voices and the strength of our numbers to demand changes in the judicial system so that brutality doesn't ever go unpunished", she added. "I think it makes all the difference in the world", state Sen.

Jeronimo Yanez, the police officer in St. Anthony who killed Castile, reacted to "the presence of that gun and the display of that gun", his lawyer said on Saturday, denying the shooting had anything to do with Castile's race. Yanez said he was reacting to the actions of Mr. Castile.

Reynolds said Castile, a school cafeteria supervisor, was shot five times as he reached into his back pocket to get his ID after informing the officer that he had a firearm he was licensed to carry.

Reynolds began livestreaming on Facebook from the vehicle shortly after Castile, who was bloodied, moaning and slumped in the driver's seat, had been shot.

Kelly said Yanez, who is Latino, is "overcome with sadness" over Castile's shooting Wednesday in the St. Paul suburb of Falcon Heights, a mostly white community of 5,000 that is served primarily by the nearby St. Anthony Police Department.

The Minnesota Bureau of Criminal Apprehension, which is leading the investigation, has not released details about the incident.

Hundreds of demonstrators braved rain and gathered outside the governor's mansion in St. Paul. A police officer fatally shot Philando Castile as a woman in the vehicle apparently livestreamed the aftermath in a widely shared Faceboo. Yanez, of the St. Anthony police, is on leave while state authorities investigate the shooting, which has prompted protests and raised questions about what role race might have played in the stop. Yanez, who fired the shots, is Hispanic. John Choi, the Ramsey County attorney, would be the one to decide whether charges will be brought but is awaiting the results of BCA's investigation.

The night after Castile was killed, five police officers were fatally shot and others were wounded during protests in Dallas over Castile's killing and the fatal police shooting of 37-year-old Alton Sterling in Baton Rouge, Louisiana. He was killed by a robot-delivered bomb after a standoff with police.

"The shooting had nothing to do with race and everything to do with the presence of that gun", Kelly said in an interview, noting that Yanez is Latino.

The bureau did not give the officers' races. Protesters in Fort Lauderdale on Saturday chanted "No justice, no peace" and "Hands up, don't shoot".

Yanez's attorney, Thomas Kelly, hasn't returned messages from The Associated Press but told the Star Tribune newspaper that his client is co-operating with the probe and remains distraught over what happened.

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