Home / Badge Abuse / Cop Who Killed Philando Castile Wants Charges Dropped Because Castile Had THC in His Blood

Cop Who Killed Philando Castile Wants Charges Dropped Because Castile Had THC in His Blood


(CN) – Attorneys for the police officer who shot and killed Philando Castile in July say the manslaughter charge against him should be dropped because Castile was high on marijuana at the time of the incident.

Jeronimo Yanez and his attorneys filed a motion to dismiss Wednesday and a memo supporting the motion.

Yanez’s push to dismiss the felony manslaughter charge against him follows the U.S. Department of Justice’s announcement that it will conduct a comprehensive review of the St. Anthony Police Department, which was deeply criticized nationwide over the incident.

Last month, Ramsey County Attorney John Choi charged Yanez with second-degree manslaughter and two counts of dangerous discharge of a firearm for the shooting of Castile during a traffic stop on July 6.

The immediate aftermath of the shooting was live-streamed by Diamond Reynolds, who was a passenger in the car along with her 4-year-old daughter in the backseat.

The shooting spawned protests at the governor’s mansion and other parts of the country, including a demonstration in Oakland, Calif., that shut down an interstate for hours.

According to Yanez’s memo, Castile lied on his application for a permit to carry a firearm and denied that he used any controlled substance.

“This is critical because unlawful narcotic users are not eligible to own, let alone carry a firearm on their person,” according to his attorneys, led by Earl Gray of St. Paul.

Photographs of marijuana were discovered on Castile’s Instagram account from 2012, the memo states, and Castile was issued three marijuana-in-vehicle tickets in 2005, 2006 and 2008.

Yanez’s attorneys also say blood draws from Castile revealed high levels of THC, the active ingredient in marijuana.

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“Evaluation of the defense expert Glenn Hardin, who was formerly employed by the [Minnesota Bureau of Criminal Apprehension] and often testified on behalf of the State of Minnesota, establishes that Mr. Castile was intoxicated,” the memo states. “The status of being stoned (in an acute and chronic sense) explains why Mr. Castille: 1) did not follow the repeated directions of Officer Yanez; 2) stared straight ahead and avoided eye-contact; 3) never mentioned that he had a carry permit, but instead said he had a gun; and 4) he did not show his hands.” (Parentheses in original.)

Glenda Hatchett, former TV court show star and attorney for the Castile family, released a statement Thursday in response to the motion to dismiss.

“This is the designed play for the defense of police officers who kill citizens, always blame the victim,” she said. “Earl Gray has done this for decades. They want to say and have you believe that Philando was the negligent one and somehow that matters in excusing or defending the officer.”

Hatchett added, “Similarly, the lawyers claim that Yanez could not be liable because he had no duty to Philando, simply because he had marijuana in his system and cite cases that supposedly support that ludicrous assertion. The United States Constitution, the Supreme Court of the United States and the State of Minnesota. by enacting Minn. Stat Section 609.066, state the exact opposite.”

But Yanez’s attorneys argue that an objective review of the squad-car video confirmed the officer’s description of why he acted in self-defense and why Castile himself was “culpably negligent and was the substantial cause of his own demise.”

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“He should not even have been driving while under the influence. He should have showed his hands. He should not have reached for the handgun, the same handgun found at the scene, the handgun Officer Yanez described,” the memo states.

In addition to Gray, Yanez is represented by Thomas Kelly in Minneapolis.

Robert Bennett with Gaskins Bennett serves as co-counsel for Castile’s family.

  • James Latham

    What a bunch of BS. How about we investigate the cop more? What’s his personal life like? Pot mellows out a person. Lets check this cop for steroid use. No end to what these thugs in blue try to pull .

    • Ed

      Let’s take the drugs to court and prove who is stronger, Cannabis or Steriods!

      • Guy

        Cannabis is a Federal Stage One Drug ! What about Steroids ?

    • Vincent D’Emidio

      Blue Lives Murder!

  • Liz O’neill

    just thug cops doing what thug cops do, murder a man then make all his fault, if he had never been born then thug cop wouldn’t have had to murder him.

    • Zackknowitall

      THIS thug cop shot a man who was trying to hurt him not posed a threat. So in hind sight the cop is say I was a scared and it’s your fault.

      When will friends and family start killing these pigs? My guess is that’s the next step after what i seen in dallas. people are upset so they are gonn react violently.

      • ahughes798

        You poke the bear too many times, and the bear is eventually going to get tired of being poked, and is going to come after you.

        • Zackknowitall

          I’m the bear asshole.

          • ahughes798

            Are you swearing at me shitface?

          • Zackknowitall

            Don’t be fucking cussing it’s rude

          • ahughes798

            Fuckin’ A right it is!

          • Zackknowitall

            Lol it was fun

        • Vincent D’Emidio

          And, we liberated, pot-smoking, Multicultural folks are the bear.

  • FiuToYou

    Another ‘legal murder’ brought to you by ‘the dumbest government in the history of the world’!!!!!

  • David Hall

    Low IQ POS thugs always blame the victim. Shoot the guy because he is a coward and could have killed the little 4 year old too or the woman, or all of the. If the thug had been smoking a joint he probably would not have murdered him. He looked and talked like he was having roid rage. It was an illegal stop to start with anyway.

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  • T Love

    How do the lawyers Judge and this cop sleep at night knowing that they are Lying? The fact that you can be murderd on camera and a man will still walk free is one of the most amazing things I’ve ever seen. What is going on with out justice system?

    • Anonymous


    • James Latham

      Nothing new, going on for decades.

  • patriot156

    WTF? Was marijuana in the guy’s system making the officers somehow jumpy enough to pull his gun and mistake getting ID as directed to and blow the poor guy away? “He’s got marijuana in his system, quick shoot him” Admit it he choked and a innocent man paid the ultamite price for his cowardice.

  • JdL

    I like this logic! But, turnabout is fair play. From now on, if anybody shoots a cop, it should be a complete defense to state, “Blood tests indicate high levels of glucose and fructose, apparently as a result of eating too many doughnuts. These chemicals are proven to contribute to irrational and aggressive behavior. Therefore it’s good, or at least acceptable, that the cop was shot and killed.”

    • Anonymous

      In some areas, you can’t avoid juries full of copsuckers. Where we live, the people LIKE the police, and even when cops have been caught ON VIDEO committing murder, they have STILL been acquitted. Or the jury was afraid to “disparage all cops” by convicting.

      • Vincent D’Emidio

        Cop-lovers are so brainwashed it’s sad.

        • KelMac

          Hey you, American Marxist. You have an ‘attitude’ towards the rule of law & the people who police it. I would advise you not to bother ever coming to our country. You see we are all excellent police officers who respect others, except when they break our laws. We certainly do not need to justify ourselves to riff raff such as yourself & I seriously doubt you would be permitted to enter Australia anyhow. There is the possibility you may require the attendance of an emergency vehicle one day, those who are in charge of same have data-routes & superb retentive- banks.

          • Vincent D’Emidio

            Yeah, well FUCK YOU white boy! So, you “respect others”, do you? What about this unsolicited, un-asked-for tirade that you’re giving me? How much respect do you give to the TRUE Australians…the Aboriginal people, hmm? I wonder. Don’t worry, I won’t be headed to your BACKWARDS country. The only thing that you guys got going on is the Great Barrier Reef.
            No, I would rather visit the UK. Other than the RACIST FILTH that voted for that Brexit bullshit, most Britons are intelligent and liberated people. You, on the other hand, probably never smoked a joint in your entire, worthless life!

  • Hugh Culliton

    …Because everyone knows how hyper and aggressive people get after ingesting or inhaling THC. This argument’s a stretch I don’t think the Fantastic Four could make! Even if Philando was in the middle of a bong-rip when the officer was talking to him, there was still zero-reason for the officer to even unholster his firearm.

    “This is critical because unlawful narcotic users are not eligible to own, let alone carry a firearm on their person,” according to his attorneys, led by Earl Gray of St. Paul.

    And how does that have any relevance to the this officer’s decision to shoot? If only such zealous consideration was applied to – say – police officers who possess, wave around, threaten with, and shoot people with their service weapons while under the influence of alcohol.

    • Anonymous

      But, you must understand, alcohol is legal, marijuana is not. Therefore, it’s perfectly fine for a drunk cop to wave around his service weapon and even shoot people. Besides, he’s a cop, so he doesn’t have to worry about being prosecuted, because he can always arrange to get copsuckers on the jury, who will just say “we acquitted him because we were afraid we would disparage all cops if we convicted him!”


    Until the prosecutors are held responsible, police miss-conduct will only get worse.

  • No Dough

    Outrage. #taxationbwithoutrepresentation. The bully thug cop as TOO many is guilty period- we all saw it and have seen thousands more like it. These deranged sociopaths seek jobs in law enforcement so that they can murder,rape,beat and abuse non threatening citizens with impunity.

  • Rogue cops cost us money

    Was the pig drug tested???????NOT

  • Joe Tittiger

    Sure cops should be able to shoot to kill anyone with THC in their blood: “cop” is a mental disorder

  • henrybowmanaz

    This lame ploy isn’t even a Hail Mary. It’s more of an ohgod,ohgod,ohgod…

  • Chris Freethinker

    So it’s OK to gun someone down in cold blood if you can prove they smoked weed?

  • Vincent D’Emidio

    Oh, I see now!! Anybody who smokes the TRUE God’s gift to mankind, reefer, is subject to be executed by the PIGS! Of course I understand…that the fuckin’ pigs despise us po’ folks, so they could treat us as lousy as they want to.
    I HATE COPS!!!

  • Vincent D’Emidio

    As always, Blue Lives Murder!