Officer acquitted in Castile shooting, thousands protest

2017-06-17 07:00
Police stand by after warning demonstrators to disperse. (Anthony Souffle, Star Tribune via AP)

Police stand by after warning demonstrators to disperse. (Anthony Souffle, Star Tribune via AP)

Multimedia   ·   User Galleries   ·   News in Pictures Send us your pictures  ·  Send us your stories

St Paul - A Minnesota police officer was cleared on Friday in the fatal shooting of Philando Castile, a black motorist whose death captured national attention when his girlfriend streamed the grim aftermath on Facebook.

Castile's family stormed out of the courtroom after the verdict was read, and the city of St Anthony swiftly announced plans to dismiss Officer Jeronimo Yanez, despite his acquittal.

Yanez was charged with manslaughter in the death of Castile, a 32-year-old school cafeteria worker, during a July 6 traffic stop that turned deadly seconds after Castile alerted the officer that he was carrying a gun. Castile had a permit for the weapon.

"The fact in this matter is that my son was murdered, and I'll continue to say murdered, because where in this planet [can you] tell the truth, and you be honest, and you still be murdered by the police of Minnesota," his mother, Valerie Castile, said, referring to the fact that her son was shot after he volunteered to Yanez, "Sir, I have to tell you, I do have a firearm on me."

"He didn't deserve to die the way he did," Philando Castile's sister, Allysza, said, through tears. "I will never have faith in the system."

Protest 

Thousands of people gathered on Friday evening at the nearby state Capitol to protest the verdict, and began a march that organisers said was headed for the St Paul Cathedral. The mixed-race crowd, including many people with children, carried signs that read "Unite for Philando" and "Corrupt systems only corrupt."

The protest was peaceful as darkness fell, though it disrupted light-rail trains.

John Thompson, who worked with Castile in St Paul's public schools, stirred the crowd with profanity-laden remarks screamed into a microphone.

"You all murdered my friend and got away with it!" he shouted. "He got away with murder!"

City officials in St Anthony said they would offer Yanez a "voluntary separation" because they had concluded "the public will be best served" if he is no longer an officer there.

Jurors deliberated for about 29 hours over five days before reaching the verdict.

Prosecutors argued that Yanez had overreacted and that Castile, a school cafeteria worker, was not a threat. Yanez, who is Latino, testified that Castile was pulling his gun out of his pocket despite his commands not to do so. The defense also argued Castile was high on marijuana and said that affected his actions.

Yanez stared ahead with no reaction as the verdict was read. Afterward, one of his attorneys, Tom Kelly, said the defence was "satisfied".

Read more on:    us

Join the conversation!

24.com encourages commentary submitted via MyNews24. Contributions of 200 words or more will be considered for publication.

We reserve editorial discretion to decide what will be published.
Read our comments policy for guidelines on contributions.
NEXT ON NEWS24X

Inside News24

 
/News
 

8 great natural remedies for your pet

Tips and tricks to cure your pet’s itches and coughs, naturally.

 
 

Paws

Buying a puppy? Don’t get scammed!
WATCH: These funny animal videos will make you LOL!
11 animals before and after they were adopted from shelters
Competition pet grooming – creative or too extreme?
Traffic Alerts
There are new stories on the homepage. Click here to see them.
 
English
Afrikaans
isiZulu

Hello 

Create Profile

Creating your profile will enable you to submit photos and stories to get published on News24.


Please provide a username for your profile page:

This username must be unique, cannot be edited and will be used in the URL to your profile page across the entire 24.com network.

Settings

Location Settings

News24 allows you to edit the display of certain components based on a location. If you wish to personalise the page based on your preferences, please select a location for each component and click "Submit" in order for the changes to take affect.




Facebook Sign-In

Hi News addict,

Join the News24 Community to be involved in breaking the news.

Log in with Facebook to comment and personalise news, weather and listings.