Judge won't release squad car video in Castile shooting

ST. PAUL, Minn. (AP) -- A Minnesota judge on Monday denied a request to release squad car video of the July 6 shooting death of Philando Castile.

The Minnesota chapter of the American Civil Liberties Union filed a lawsuit in September demanding release of the video, arguing that the video is presumed to be public data and refusing to release it violated the state data practices act.

But Ramsey County District Court Judge William Leary disagreed, ruling Monday that the video is not public while there is an active investigation. He said the investigation is not over because St. Anthony police Officer Jeronimo Yanez faces a manslaughter charge in Castile's death.

Yanez shot Castile, who is black, during a traffic stop in the St. Paul suburb of Falcon Heights. The shooting's gruesome aftermath was streamed live on Facebook by Castile's girlfriend, who was in the car along with her young daughter. Prosecutors said the 32-year-old elementary school cafeteria worker was shot after he told Yanez he was armed. A permit to carry a weapon was later found in Castile's wallet.

Prosecutors said Yanez, who is Latino, acted unreasonably and was not justified in using deadly force. Yanez's attorneys have asked that the charges be dismissed, and said Castile never told Yanez he had a permit to carry.

In his seven-page ruling, Leary also said it doesn't appear the benefits of releasing the video would outweigh the potentially greater benefit of disclosing the information at trial.

While noting that there has been considerable public comment about the case so far, Leary wrote: "A disclosure of the recordings at this time would most certainly invite additional comment and disagreement, and most likely harm the integrity of the criminal case and deprive the officer of a fair trial within this community."

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