It has been a time of intense grief and controversy over the last few days in St. Paul, Minnesota and for many invested in the case of Philando Castile. After almost a year since the 32-year-old was shot to death in his vehicle by a Minnesota police officer, the case has been closed, resulting in the officer being found not guilty. In the wake of the trial outcome, thousands of outraged citizens took to the streets of St. Paul in protest and 18 were arrested.
An estimated 2,000 people were on the streets of St. Paul, Minnesota on June 17, shedding tears in peaceful protest of the Castile trial. Outraged family, friends, and attorneys on Philando Castile’s behalf shared sentiments of anger, grief, and disbelief at the outcome, the verdict of which resulted in St. Paul policeman Jeronimo Yanez being acquitted of charges against him for the shooting and killing of Castile.
The thousands of people in attendance filled the streets of St. Paul and the grounds near the courthouse. 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. The Minnesota State Patrol would update on their Twitter with a clarification as to the cause of the arrests.
It was on July 6, 2016 when Jeronimo Yanez pulled over Philando Castile in a vehicle alongside his girlfriend, Diamond Reynolds, and her 4-year-old daughter, Dae’Anna. Yanez claimed to have pulled Castile over because he fit the description of a suspect from a robbery that had occurred a few days earlier. Castile was said to have told Yanez he was armed and had a permit to carry. The next few minutes resulted in the shooting of Castile, in which Yanez discharged his firearm four times, striking Castile in the arm and side. Reynolds immediately pulled out her phone and took video of the next minutes in which officers attempted to calm the situation as the mortally wounded Castile died.
Protestors are being arrested who failed to leave the freeway.
— State Patrol PIO (@MSPPIO) June 17, 2017
Yanez was charged with manslaughter and dangerous discharge of his firearm. The trial formally began in late November of 2016 and the verdict was announced on June 16, 2017. Yanez was immediately pushed to resign from the St. Paul Police Department via a voluntary separation agreement.
Diamond Reynolds, various family of Philando including his mother and sister, and the Castile family attorney, Judge Glenda Hatchett issued statements during the protest, echoing anger and grief over the events of the previous year. Meanwhile, citizens and protesters around St. Paul held peaceful vigil, carrying signs that condemned the murder of Philando and the acquittal of Yanez. The case may have ended, but there is certainly still emotional fallout and outrage over the shooting of Philando Castile. That said, by arresting 18 protesters, Minnesota authorities have stressed that misconduct during the protest for Castile will not be tolerated.
[Featured Image by Stephen Maturen/Getty Images]