Almost twenty arrested as thousands protest verdict in Philando Castile shooting

Posted June 19, 2017

Yesterday, a Minnesota jury acquitted St. Anthony, Minnesota, police officer Jeronimo Yanez of second-degree manslaughter charges in the shooting of Philando Castile.

By Friday evening, thousands of peaceful protesters had gathered in St. Paul and were marching through the streets.

Minnesota State Patrol officers arrest protesters during a gathering after the verdict. As initially reported by CNN, the 18 arrested were taken away for refusing to disperse when ordered to by the police from critical areas on a nearby freeway. Before Castile completed the sentence, Yanez interrupted and replied, "Okay" and placed his right hand on the holster of his gun. Sherrilyn Ifill, the director-counsel of the NAACP Legal Defense Fund, said the jury's decision shows how hard it is to prosecute a police officer in a fatal shooting.

Yanez approached Castile's auto on the driver's side. Flowers and handmade signs have decorated the stretch of road since the killing of Castile, which in part was streamed onto Facebook live (warning: graphic content) by his girlfriend. Interim executive director of the ACLU of Minnesota Teresa Nelson stated that Castile is one of 1,092 people were killed by police in 2016, a number that is probably less shocking than it should be, given the recent string of highly-publicized incidents.

August 24: The St. Anthony Police Department says it put Yanez back on administrative leave after he had briefly returned to limited duty, citing "concerns and other feedback from the community".

The verdict sparked outrage among many in the St. Paul area. "District attorneys around the country, from Tulsa to Cleveland to now St. Paul, must be held accountable for their failures to secure justice for victims of police violence". "I told him not to reach for it". Castile's girlfriend, Diamond Reynolds, is a passenger in the vehicle, along with her then-4-year-old daughter.

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Early witness reports suggested that pedestrians had been struck as they left late-night prayers for the holy month of Ramadan. Vanzella said she went to the window and saw "loads of people gathering" in a corner across the road from her window.

"We would like to see if this could go to a federal court".

She says those arrested were booked at Ramsey County Jail on charges including being a pedestrian on the busy freeway. No video existed of exactly what happened inside the vehicle. "While many officers carry out their jobs with respect for the communities they serve, we must confront the profound disconnect and disrespect that many communities of color experience with their local law enforcement", Nelson said.

Yanez said he acted because he feared for his life and believed Castile was reaching for a gun.

"The system continues to fail black people, and they will continue to fail you all ..." Yanez shot Castile five times.

Valerie Castile spoke about her son outside the courthouse following the verdict.