Published: Wed, June 28, 2017
U.S. | By Monique Johnson

Castile protesters target city where officer worked

Castile protesters target city where officer worked

The protesters gathered at the Minnesota State Capitol and marched through the streets of St. Paul on Friday night to decry the not guilty verdict returned by a jury in the manslaughter trial of former St. Anthony police officer Jeronimo Yanez. Castile told the officer that he was licensed to carry a firearm and that he had a weapon in his possession. Castile's sister, Allysza, said that: "his brother didn't deserve to die the way he did". "Y'all are next, and you will be standing up here fighting for justice just as well as I am". And a murderer gets away.

But videos of black people dying at the hands of police have led to few convictions.

The trial included squad-car video of the traffic stop, but the wide view did not show exactly what took place inside Castile's auto, leaving jurors largely in the position of whether to believe the officer's testimony.

The verdict sent protesters to the streets, beginning at the state capitol and eventually to Interstate 94, where approximately 500 demonstrators blocked traffic in both directions, KTSP reported.

Prosecutors said Yanez was not justified in firing his gun, saying that Castile was courteous and non-threatening.

The two holdouts were not the only black members on the jury, Ploussard told the Associated Press. "The city intends to offer Officer Yanez a voluntary separation agreement to help him transition to another career other than being a St. Anthony officer", the statement said. "It's a sad state of affairs when this type of criminal conduct is condoned simply because Yanez is a policeman", Reynolds said. On Friday, Yanez's acquittal did the same. Prosecutors questioned whether Yanez had even seen it, and witnesses testified that it was in a pocket of Castiles shorts when paramedics pulled him from the vehicle. His girlfriend, Diamond Reynolds livestreamed the aftermath of the shooting on Facebook because, she said, she wanted to make sure the truth was known.

According to prosecutors, Yanez overreacted in the situation and Castile was not a threat to him.

A protest on a Minnesota freeway over the acquittal of a police officer in the slaying of black motorist Philando Castile resulted in the arrest of 18 demonstrators early on Saturday, state police said. FILE - In this May 30, 2017, file photo, St. Anthony police officer Jeronimo Yanez stands outside the Ramsey County Courthouse while waiting for a ride in St. Paul, Minn.

Yanez's lawyers claimed Castile's judgment was impaired at the time of the shooting because he had been smoking marijuana all day.

John Thompson, who worked with Castile in St. Paul's public schools, stirred the crowd with profanity-laden remarks screamed into a microphone. The last words he spoke before dying were, "I wasn't reaching for it". She said that they had been stopped for a broken taillight and that her four-year-old daughter was in the vehicle at the time of the shooting. However, before Castile could complete his sentence, Yanez pulled out his gun and said: "Don't pull it out".

The stop turned deadly seconds after Castile alerted the officer that he was carrying a gun. "My family's faces popped up in my mind, my wife and baby girl", Yanez said, his voice choked with emotion.

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