Barber Eric Mohammad and customer Mark Sims. Photo Credit: Cedars-Sinai's Smidt Heart Institute.

'It's OK, I'm Right Here with You,' 4-Year-Old with Philando Castile Tells Mom in Squad Car

A four-year-old girl was in the backseat of Philando Castile’s vehicle when Jeronimo Yanez, a St. Anthony Police Department police officer, fired his weapon into Castile’s car seven times during a traffic stop on July 6. Although one of the bullets logged just 16 inches from her car seat, a video shows the girl had the courage to comfort her mother.


OnFriday, Yanez was acquitted of manslaughter chargesin the death of Castile. Case files are now being publicly released. A video made available Wednesday shows footage of the girl and her mother, Castile’s girlfriend Diamond Reynolds, in the back seat of a police squad car.

Reynolds,who was sitting in the passenger seat at the time of the shooting, nowin handcuffs, broke down, as she struggled to understand what had just happened. She let out a scream.

“It’s OK, I’m right here with you,” her daughter responded.

Reynolds, still holding her cell phone, pleaded with her viewers on Facebook Live to pray for her and her daughter. She also repeatedly asked to be removed from handcuffs so she could hold her.

According to CBS News, an extended version of the video shows Reynolds shouting an expletive, and her daughter responding, “Mom, please stop cussing and screaming ’cause I don’t want you to get shooted.”

“OK, give me a kiss,” Reynolds said.

“I can keep you safe,” the girl said.

“It’s OK, I got it, OK I can’t believe they just did that,” Reynolds said.

Police eventually took the handcuffs off of Reynolds.

“Dear Lord, please let him be OK,” Reynolds said, not knowing Castile had died.

“And please tell God to get here right now,” the girl said.

CBS Minnesota reports that jurors did not see the video of Reynolds and her daughter in the squad car, citing that prosecutors chose to focus more on the dashcam footage from Yanez’s car.

The footage was released Tuesday and showed the series of events that occurred after Yanez pulled over Castile, resulting in him firing his weapon seven times into the car, shortly after Castile said, “Sir, I do have to tell you I have a firearm on me.”

Castile’s permit to carry a gun was later found in his wallet.

Yanez testified during the trial that Castile reached for his gun, and hefeared for his life. However, the video shed no light on whether the victim had reached for the gun he told the officer he was carrying.

Jurors acquitted him even though prosecutors said he was not justified in firing his gun, saying Castile was courteous and non-threatening.

On Tuesday, the Ramsey County Attorney’s Office provided documents it used in the prosecution of former officer Yanez.

In the radio call to another officer, Yanez said he was stopping Castile because he said the two occupantsin the car looked like suspects involved in a robbery.

“I’m gonna check IDs. I have reason to pull it over. The… the two occupants… Just look like the… people that were involvedin our robbery… at 2424,” he said.

“The driver looks more like one of our suspects, just cause of the wide set nose. Um, I couldn’t get a good look at the passenger. And, I’ll wait for you. I see you’re just turning onto Larpenteur. We’re at Larp and Fairview.”

In an interview with the Minnesota Bureau of Criminal Apprehension (BCA) the day after the shooting, Yanez said hedidn’t know whether Reynolds, in the passenger seat, was a man or a woman only that the passenger wore a hat.

“I just knew that they were both African American, and the driver, uh, appeared to me that he appeared to match the, uh, physical description of the one of our suspects from the strong arm robbery, gunpoint.”

Reynolds live-streamed the aftermath of the July 6 shooting on Facebook Livefor almost 10 minutes as Castile sat bleeding to death in the driver’s seat beside her.

According to documents, BCA got a search warrant for Reynolds’ Facebook account:

BCA’s “indefinite non-disclosure order” on Reynolds’ account was unconstitutional, according to Facebook:

BCA also questioned the police chief on why officers have been turned down to go to controversial “Bullet Proof Mind” training:

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