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Arrests follow protest against Philando Castile verdict

Arrests follow protest against Philando Castile verdict

The protesters had been engaged in a peaceful demonstration Friday outside the Minnesota State Capitol, before a group of about 1,500 of them made a decision to stand in the middle of Interstate 94, blocking traffic on the freeway, police said. We felt all along his conduct was justified.

Authorities arrested 18 people during a protest of the acquittal of a suburban Minneapolis police officer who shot and killed a black driver.

Judge Glenda Hatchett, who is representing the Castile family in likely civil actions against Jeronimo Yanez, insisted that the fight to protect African-American people like Philando Castile from violent police actions is not over, but admitted the verdict was a bitter pill to swallow. "Prosecute the police." One protester used a loudspeaker to say, "They just told me my homeboy just died for nothing".

Questioned by his defense attorney during the trial, Yanez said: "I was scared to death".

In a statement, a Minnesota State Patrol spokeswoman said the protesters were charged with unlawful assembly, among other things, after they declined repeated demands from police to vacate the roadway.

Castile's girlfriend, Diamond Reynolds, was with him in the auto when Castile was fatally shot by Yanez. A Minnesota police officer was cleared Friday in the fatal shooting of Philando Castile, a black motori. The public outcry included protests in Minnesota that shut down highways and surrounded the governor's mansion.

After five days of deliberations, the jury of seven men and five women, 10 of whom were white and two of whom were black, found Yanez not guilty of all counts, including two counts of intentional discharge of firearm that endangers safety. Castile's family cursed and stormed from the courtroom and citizens flocked by the hundreds to the state Capitol to vent their anger. Dayton drew criticism in the days after the shooting for suggesting that Castile might not have been shot if he was white.

The video footage of the aftermath of the shooting taken by Castile's girlfriend had shaped many public perceptions of the fatal shooting before the trial.

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

Police officer Jeronimo Yanez, who worked in St. Anthony - a suburb of the twin cities - was acquitted Friday on manslaughter charges in the very controversial July 2016 shooting death of Philando Castile, which quickly went viral because it was recorded live on Facebook. He said they spent a lot of time dissecting the "culpable negligence" requirement for conviction, and the two holdouts eventually agreed Friday on acquittal.

Ploussard wouldn't identify the two holdouts, but said they were not the jury's only two black members.

Castile called Yanez a "murderer" and said she was "mad as hell" about the verdict, which, if anything, seems like an understatement. "I didn't want to shoot Mr. Castile", he testified, "I thought I was going to die". No video existed of exactly what happened inside the vehicle.

The officer asked Castile not to pull out the handgun. Castile appears to give something to Yanez through the driver's side window.

Yanez told Castile, "OK, don't reach for it then" and "Don't pull it out".

"I am so very, very, very. disappointed in the system here in the state of Minnesota", Valerie Castile said. There is shouting, and Yanez screams, "Don't pull it out!" before he fires seven shots into the auto, five of which hit Castile.

Prosecutors argued that Yanez could have taken lesser steps, such as asking to see Castile's hands or asking where the gun was.

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