July 25, 2018 02:55 PM
After Ramsey County released evidence and dash cam video Tuesday, use of force experts came to conflicting conclusions about Jeronimo Yanez's decision to shoot Philando Castile.
Along with the evidence was a report by the use of force expert who testified for the prosecution in the trial.
Jeffrey Noble concluded “Officer Yanez’s use of deadly force was unnecessary, objectively unreasonable, and inconsistent with generally accepted police practices.”
Noble was unable to comment to 5 EYEWITNESS NEWS, but we sat down with another use of force expert who had a different take.
David Blake is a former police officer and is now a use of force consultant on the west coast.
Judging solely from the dash cam video, Blake said he saw a man scared he was going to die.
“Looking at this video, there is no doubt in my mind that he had an immediate fear response in his actions, and behaviors during the event and right after the event are all correlated with the fight or flight response,” Blake said.
Blake said a key moment in the video takes place in the five seconds between Castile notifying Yanez that he has a gun and the time the first shot is fired.
In that moment, the video shows Yanez reaching with his left hand to stop something – no one can tell what – while his right hand is beginning to lift his own gun.
“We have to ask ourselves why would something like that occur?” Blake said.
When officers encounter a deadly threat or fear for their life, they are trained to neutralize the threat until it’s over.
The question of whether the fear was reasonable was something the jury had to answer.
Blake believes another telling moment in the 10-minute video comes immediately after the shooting.
He said it shows an officer shaken to the core, unable to move, and struggling to even holster his gun, which Blake said indicates total fear.
“The elevated voice, the broken voice, the inability to speak clearly and concisely are all consistent with a fear response,” he said.