Published: Mon, June 26, 2017
Global News | By Stacy Ballard

Castile protesters march in Minnesota city where acquitted officer worked

Castile protesters march in Minnesota city where acquitted officer worked

A small group of protesters gathered outside the courtroom late Friday, and a rally was planned later in the evening at the state Capitol in St. Paul.

Philando Castile was fatally shot by the officer July 6 in a St. Paul suburb seconds after he told the officer he was armed.

A Minnesota police officer was acquitted of manslaughter on Friday for the fatal shooting of Philando Castile, a black motorist whose girlfriend streamed the aftermath live on Facebook.

"I am so disappointed in the state of Minnesota", Castile's mother, Valerie Castile, said at a news conference after the verdict was read.

Wiley added: "I can not stop crying for you, Philando", and Aduba wrote: "Truth lies somewhere here: until we value & speak for the lives of all people, we remain hinged to this chapter of history". Officers may have had previous encounters with people carrying guns illegally - especially young black men.

"People have died for us to have these rights and now we're devolving", she said.

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St. Aoro said she believes the jury makeup was wrong from the trial's outset. "This time there should have been, in our opinion, a very, very different outcome".

Yanez, a police officer, shot and killed an African-American man, #Philando Castile last July. The AP reported, citing prosecutors, Castile's last words were: "I wasn't reaching for it".

Prosecutors in St. Paul, Minnesota, said recordings from the vehicle - both from Reynolds' phone and from a dashboard camera - showed that Castile was courteous and nonthreatening, and they told the court there was no justification for Yanez's action.

"There are thousands of law enforcement officers, who courageously risk their lives to protect our communities, and many other dedicated Minnesotans, who are working to correct the injustices in our state", he said.

Allysza Castile said her family is planning a public service on the one-year anniversary of her brother's death.

John Choi, the Ramsey County prosecutor assigned to the case, told reporters following the verdict that Castile "did nothing that justified the taking of his life".

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"I don't doubt that Officer Yanez is a decent person, but he made a terrible mistake from our perspective, and that's what this case was about", Choi said.

"I will continue to say murder", she said.

Meanwhile, in a statement on the verdict, St. Paul Mayor Chris Coleman called Castile "a son of St. Paul - a graduate of Central High School, and a dedicated employee at J.J. Hill Montessori, where he was loved by his students and co-workers".

The first sign of the jury's struggle came Wednesday, when Leary summoned the apparently deadlocked jury to court, reminded the panel of its duty to try to reach a verdict and sent the jurors back to work. A Minnesota police officer was cleare. Sherrilyn Ifill, who heads the NAACP Legal Defense Fund, said the acquittal "highlights how hard it is to prosecute an officer for killing a person".

"This incident seemed so egregious", she said in a statement, "That we hoped that this time. justice might be served". Marchers also blocked commuter trains at one point and chanted "Yanez Guilty".

An attorney for Mr Yanez, Mr Earl Gray, praised the verdict.

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