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Protests over Minnesota police shooting result in 18 arrests on freeway

18 Juin 2017

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 auto when Castile was shot and killed.

Yanez, who is Latino, pulled Castile over for a broken tail light July 6 in Falcon Heights, after alerting his police partner in another squad auto that Castile resembled one of the suspects in a recent armed robbery, due to his "wide-set nose". Castile had a permit for the weapon.

Yanez, who is Latino, was charged with second-degree manslaughter.

The jury opted for acquittal, clearing Yanez of manslaughter Friday after five days of deliberation that almost ended in deadlock.

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.

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.

Friday's march remained largely peaceful.

The Minnesota state police said officers began arresting the protesters past midnight, after issuing three warnings for them to get off of a major highway in the city.

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Police ordered the protesters to disperse, and the crowd eventually moved off I-94 mainlines and onto an entrance ramp.

On July 6, 2016, Castile was driving with his girlfriend and her 4-year-old daughter when they were pulled over by Yanez for a broken tail light in the suburban neighborhood of Falcon Heights in St. Paul, Minnesota.

The incident drew worldwide condemnation when Castile's girlfriend live-streamed the aftermath on Facebook. Interim executive director of the ACLU of Minnesota Teresa Nelson stated that Castile is one of 1,092 people were killed by police in 2016, a number that is probably less shocking than it should be, given the recent string of highly-publicized incidents. Castile's vehicle had a faulty brake light, giving the 29-year-old officer reason to pull him over, several experts testified.

The defense argued Castile, who had traces of marijuana in his system, was stoned and it affected his responses to Yanez's commands. They raised questions about discrepancies in Reynolds' statements to investigators, including where Castile carried his wallet and who purchased the marijuana that was in the auto.

Family and friends of Valerie Castile and Philando Castile, including John Thompson, center, walk out of the courthouse after Jeronimo Yanez was found not guilty on all counts in the shooting death of Philando Castile.

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

Castile said her son would never jeopardize someone's life, especially with his girlfriend and her child in the vehicle at the time. It is a sad state of affairs when this type of criminal conduct is condoned simply because Officer Yanez is a policeman. The terms of the agreement were yet to be negotiated, but Yanez would not return to active duty, the statement said. The school district said grief counselors will be available to speak to students and staff. Civil rights lawyer Nekima Levy-Pounds, a mayoral candidate in Minneapolis, rallied the mostly young crowd of different races, just as she did during the protests and marches that swept St. Paul and Minneapolis last summer after Castile's death.

Meanwhile, St. Paul Mayor Chris Coleman described Castile as a "son of Saint Paul". The Minnesota State Patrol states that 18 people were arrested for failing to comply with the dispersal order.

Protests over Minnesota police shooting result in 18 arrests on freeway