Thousands take to the streets to protest Philando Castile shooting verdict

Posted June 26, 2017

On Friday, Yanez was cleared of all charges related to Castile's killing.

A Minnesota police officer was acquitted Friday in the shooting of a black motorist whose dying moments were captured on Facebook video in a case that shocked the nation.

Castile's fatal shooting was among several cases around the US previous year where law enforcement officers were found to have killed blacks. "Prosecute the police." One protester used a loudspeaker to say, "They just told me my homeboy just died for nothing". In Minnesota, it is legal to carry a gun, and Castile had followed all laws regarding gun ownership.

Castile was one of 1,092 people killed by police in 2016, Teresa Nelson, interim executive direction of the American Civil Liberties Union of Minnesota said.

That grief, however, was soon pushed aside by burning anger, as Castile's mother stepped before a microphone and vented before reporters.

Yanez shot Castile five times on July 6 during a traffic stop in the St. Paul suburb of Falcon Heights. The Minnesota State Patrol said 18 people were arrested after they "failed to leave the roadway".

Yanez was found not guilty for the July shooting of Castile, a 32-year-old black school cafeteria worker.

He declined to say whether he thought Yanez acted appropriately.

The video begins with the girlfriend, Diamond Reynolds, in the passenger seat as Castile, covered in blood, sits in the driver's seat and a patrolman points his gun into the vehicle.

Castile's shooting was among a string of killings of black people by police around the U.S., and the livestreaming of its aftermath by Castile's girlfriend, Diamond Reynolds, attracted even more attention. Reynolds' four-year-old daughter was also in the vehicle. These two decisions create an atmosphere where police violence is sanctioned based on what we think a hypothetical officer could have felt, even if, in reality, the officer was acting recklessly, had ill motives or was acting based on implicit bias, she said. "But nevertheless the system continues to fail black people", she said.

Allysza Castile, Philando's 24-year-old sister, said after the verdict was announced that she hadn't spoken much in the last year because she gets emotional concerning her brother's death.

Castile's girlfriend, Diamond Reynolds, was with him in the auto when Castile was fatally shot by Yanez.

The incident, one of several deaths of black men and boys shot by United States police, sparked outrage and protests in St Paul.

Thousands of people gathered Friday evening at the state Capitol to protest the eventual verdict.

"CAIR-MN understands that the system that allows an African-American man to be shot to death in less than two minutes by a police officer is the same system of racial injustice that profiles and threatens the safety of Muslims in our communities", Hussein said.

After shooting Castile, Yanez is heard on the squad-car video telling a supervisor that he didnt know where Castiles gun was, then that he told Castile to get his hand off it. Yanez testified that he meant that he didnt see the gun at first, then saw it in Castiles “right thigh area.” He said Castile ignored his commands to stop pulling it out of his pocket.