Protests continue after cop who fatally shot Philando Castile acquitted

A rally at the state Capitol on Friday led to a march that shut down a stretch of interstate and resulted in 18 arrests


By Kristi Belcamino
Pioneer Press

ST. PAUL, Minn. — For a third day, people protesting the acquittal of St. Anthony Police Officer Jeronimo Yanez took to the streets, this time in the city where the officer worked.

On Friday, a Ramsey County jury found Yanez, 29, not guilty of felony manslaughter after he fatally shot Philando Castile, 32, during a traffic stop in July in Falcon Heights.

Protesters gather outside the state Capitol in St. Paul, Minn., Friday, June 16, 2017, after St. Anthony police Officer Jeronimo Yanez was cleared in the fatal shooting of Philando Castile, a black motorist whose death captured national attention when his girlfriend streamed the grim aftermath on Facebook. (AP Photo/Steve Karnowski)
Protesters gather outside the state Capitol in St. Paul, Minn., Friday, June 16, 2017, after St. Anthony police Officer Jeronimo Yanez was cleared in the fatal shooting of Philando Castile, a black motorist whose death captured national attention when his girlfriend streamed the grim aftermath on Facebook. (AP Photo/Steve Karnowski)

Shortly after the verdict, the city of St. Anthony announced that Yanez would not be returning to work for its police department.

About 100 people gathered in front of the St. Anthony Police Department about noon Sunday in an event called “Father’s Day for Philando.” The group marched to a shopping center at Silver Lake Road and 39th Avenue Northeast and then spent about 30 minutes shutting down traffic at the entrance.

Local attorney and activist Nekima Levy-Pounds addressed the group with a megaphone.

“We need to keep showing up, we need to keep making sure that our voices are being heard. But the next phase of this system — and our protesting — has to be economic,” she said.

She asked people if they remembered the Montgomery bus boycott, a protest against racial segregation on public transportation that ultimately led to a change in Alabama law.

On Friday, a rally held at the Capitol led to a march that eventually shut down a stretch of Interstate 94 for three hours. On Saturday, people gathered in Minneapolis, marching from Loring Park into downtown Minneapolis.

Sunday’s rally was organized by a recently formed group called New North. It was the first rally the group hosted on its own. The group is headed by Corydon Nilsson, who formerly handled communications for Black Lives Matter St. Paul.

Other cities across the country have held rallies protesting the verdict. The Chicago Demands Justice for #PhilandoCastile rally was held Sunday afternoon at Washington Park in Chicago.

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©2017 the Pioneer Press (St. Paul, Minn.)


McClatchy-Tribune News Service

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