Thousands Protest Verdict Handed To Officer Who Shot Philando Castile

18 June, 2017, 01:24 | Author: Michele Stevens

In reaction to the verdict, Democratic Gov. Mark Dayton offered his condolences to the Castile family, calling his death "a bad tragedy" in a statement that made no mention of Yanez.

Yanez stared ahead with no reaction as the verdict was read.

"You are supposed to be happy, not crying", he was overheard saying to Yanez's mother.

Dennis Ploussard, a member of the jury, called deliberations "very, very hard" and says he thinks the panel delivered the right verdict. Civil rights lawyer Nekima Levy-Pounds, a mayoral candidate in Minneapolis, rallied the mostly young crowd of different races, just as she did during the protests and marches that swept St. Paul and Minneapolis last summer after Castile's death. He said they spent a lot of time dissecting the "culpable negligence" requirement for conviction, and the two holdouts eventually agreed Friday on acquittal. He says the jury sympathizes with Castile's family.

"None of this would have happened but for Philando Castile", defense attorney Earl Gray said. Valerie Castile said her son was murdered. "They really failed us once again because my brother was a good man" who never raised his voice.

Philip Stinson, a criminologist at Ohio's Bowling Green State University who tracks fatal police shootings, found that nearly 40 percent of the 82 officers nationwide charged with murder or manslaughter since 2005 were not convicted.

To many demonstrators Friday, the verdict came as little surprise and fit into a larger catalog of situations between police officers and black men.

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

After approaching his auto window, Yanez asked Castile for his license and proof of insurance. Prosecutors questioned whether Yanez had even seen it, and witnesses testified that it was in a pocket of Castile's shorts when paramedics pulled him from the vehicle. Castile's taillight was out; Yanez also testified he thought Castile resembled a suspect in a recent convenience store robbery.

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Ramsey County Attorney John Choi, who made the decision to charge Yanez, said his office considered carefully before bringing the case. I thought I was going to die.

The Midwestern city was bracing for further protests after Friday's acquittal of Officer Jeronimo Yanez, 29, of all charges he faced in the death of 32-year-old Philando Castile during a traffic stop in July. Prosecutors maintained that Yanez put their lives in danger when he opened fire into the vehicle.

The defense said Yanez strategically aimed his weapon down and to the left to protect the passengers from harm.

Reynolds pulled out her cellphone and began live-streaming the shooting's aftermath on Facebook as Castile bled to death.

The video footage of the aftermath of the shooting taken by Castile's girlfriend, which went viral, had shaped many public perceptions of the fatal shooting before the trial. No video existed of exactly what happened inside the vehicle. It was played repeatedly throughout the trial. She did not appear on camera but released a statement to reporters reacting to the verdicts. He did nothing but comply with Officer Yanez's instructions to get his driver's license.

"It is a sad state of affairs when this type of criminal conduct is condoned simply because Yanez is a policeman".

Shorting after the verdict, the City of St. Anthony announced that Yanez "will not return to active duty" despite his acquittal.

Coleman asked for restraint on the part of those angry with the verdict. Seven people were arrested during the massive demonstration near the state Capitol, and no injuries were reported, according to the Minnesota State Patrol.

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