Yanez Aquitted/Protests Erupt 17 Jun 17

(Learfield News Service/St. Paul, MN) Hundreds of angry protesters converged on the State Capitol Friday night after a jury acquitted Officer Jeronimo Yanez in the fatal shooting of Philando Castile. 

One man broke down and cried after repeatedly screaming, “You murdered my friend!”  Many carried pictures of a Minnesota license plate with the word “SHAME” on it.  Others called for understanding.  

The crowd cheered when one man said, “Tomorrow we learn how to love one another even deeper than what we love each other already, so that we begin to work together and demand justice!”

“Miss Monique,” who says she’s a victim of police brutality in Saint Paul, told the crowd they occupied the Fourth Precinct and the Governor’s Mansion, shut down I-94 and then went to the courthouse.  “It gave us just a little hope that we might see a little justice,” she said, “but that’s not what we got.”

 

ST. PAUL, Minn. (AP) — The world learned of Philando Castile’s death through a Facebook livestream launched by his girlfriend seconds after he was shot by a Minnesota police officer.

But no video existed of exactly what happened inside the car. That left a jury to decide whether they believed Officer Jeronimo Yanez on the witness stand, and they opted Friday to acquit the officer.

Yanez testified that Castile, a school cafeteria worker, was reaching for his gun despite his commands not to pull it out. And Yanez said he feared for his life.

Friday’s acquittal prompted swearing from Castile’s family members. Valerie Castile said her son was murdered.

Juror Dennis Ploussard says most jurors voted for acquittal early on. Two holdouts eventually agreed after five days. He says the jury sympathizes with Castile’s family.