Sen. Franken Says Philando Castile 'Did Not Deserve To Die'

Angie Massey
June 19, 2017

Motorist Philando Castile was fatally wounded by Jeronimo Yanez after he was stopped in his auto in Falcon Heights, St Paul, in 2016.

(Anthony Souffle/Star Tribune via AP).

Minnesota activists held a second rally against police violence Saturday following 18 arrests during a night of protests after a policeman was acquitted over the shooting of a black motorist.

While Leary didn't spell out the reasons for denying their request Friday to review Yanez's testimony, prominent Minnesota defense attorneys noted the jury's instructions when the trial began to listen carefully, take notes and rely on their memories. Signs reading "Unite for Philando" and "Justice Not Served for Philando" could be seen; chants of "No justice, no peace, prosecute the police" were heard during the largely peaceful protest. We hope they will be held and met with the same restraint that was shown on Friday in St. Paul. During the exchange, Castile told Yanez that he had a firearm on him at the time.

Yanez, who is Latino, testified that Castile disregarded his commands not to pull out the gun and that he feared for his life.

"I'm never happy when people are on the freeway, but the fact of the matter is no one was injured", Coleman said.

"Miss Monique", who says she's a victim of police brutality in Saint Paul, told the crowd they occupied the Fourth Precinct and the Governor's Mansion, shut down I-94 and then went to the courthouse.

The officer, Jeronimo Yanez, was charged with second-degree manslaughter and endangering safety by discharging a firearm in the shooting.

Castile's mother, Valerie Castile, told reporters, "I'm mad as hell right now".

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

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Castile's family raged after Minneapolis officer Yanez was found not guilty in court on Friday, with mum Valerie saying: "He will have to face his creator".

"Unless our lawmakers get serious about reforming laws that govern lethal force by police, justice will continue to elude grieving families", said Amnesty International USA researcher Justin Mazzola. "Prosecute the police!" in response to the verdict, after which they swarmed the streets.

In addition to the second-degree manslaughter charge, Yanez was also acquitted of two lesser charges of endangering the safety of Castile's girlfriend and young daughter, who were in the vehicle when Castile was shot and killed.

'The system continues to fail black people I am so disappointed in the state of Minnesota. He was licensed to carry. The dead man had told the policeman he had a gun elsewhere in the vehicle.

If testimony from one figure is re-read, it's nearly like they're testifying again, said Marsh Halberg, a defense attorney not connected to the case.

Like several similar cases, Castile's death was shared worldwide on social media. The immediate aftermath of Castile's shooting was captured on video recorded by Reynolds and broadcast on Facebook Live. In the end, a few dozen people were left, and police managed to push them off the freeway. 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. A grand jury declined to indict that officer or any others involved in the arrest. "Just because he was a police officer, that makes it OK".

Michael Brown, an unarmed 18-year-old, was fatally shot by a white officer, Darren Wilson, in August 2014 in Ferguson, Missouri. They spent a lot of time dissecting the "culpable negligence" requirement for conviction, and the last two holdouts eventually agreed Friday on acquittal.

SC officer Michael Slager, who is white, shot black motorist Walter Scott in the back as he fled from a traffic stop.

"This was a clear-cut case of unnecessary, fatal police violence", Rashad Robinson, executive director of Color Of Change, said of the Castile case.

Other reports by GizPress

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