United States officer acquitted in fatal shooting of black man

Police officer Jeronimo Yanez stands outside the Ramsey County Courthouse in St. Paul Minn. a May 30 file

Police officer Jeronimo Yanez stands outside the Ramsey County Courthouse in St. Paul Minn. a May 30 file

It was on July 6, 2016 when Jeronimo Yanez pulled over Philando Castile in a vehicle alongside his girlfriend, Diamond Reynolds, and her 4-year-old daughter, Dae'Anna. With Castile's hand on his gun, Yanez said he had to act. Castile family lawyer Glenda Hatchett vowed to continue fighting.

On the squad-car video, Castile can be heard saying, "I'm not pulling it out", as Yanez opened fire.

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

The protesters had been engaged in a peaceful demonstration Friday outside the Minnesota State Capitol, before a group of about 1,500 of them made a decision to stand in the middle of Interstate 94, blocking traffic on the freeway, police said. However that doesnt take away from the tragedy of the event, ” Kelly said.

By 12:30 a.m., state troopers, St. Paul police officers, and group of heavily camouflaged and armed troopers, part of a State Patrol unit, had pushed the few dozen remaining protesters onto an exit ramp. That included several recent mistrials or acquittals when officers testified they feared for their lives, Stinson said. 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.

Moans of dismay and weeping swept through the courtroom after the verdict was announced. They also highlighted seemingly contradictory statements Yanez made right after the shooting and to investigators later about whether he saw the gun. The department's chief promised a new unit would be ready to handle peaceful demonstrations by the time the verdict came down in the Yanez trial.

Castile's shooting was among a string of killings of blacks by police around the US.

"To build trust", she added, "we need a democratic system of policing where our communities have an equal say in the way their neighborhoods are policed". Sherrilyn Ifill, who heads the NAACP Legal Defense Fund, said the acquittal "highlights how hard it is to prosecute an officer for killing a person".

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Organizers of Friday's protest said that the verdict "shows how the system is rigged against justice for victims of police terror".

Many people waved signs and chanted in unison "stand up, fight back" and "if we don't get no justice, they don't get no peace".

Protesters also blocked trains at one point and chanted "Yanez guilty".

After the rally, police said roughly 2,000 people marched peacefully down streets in St. Paul, at times blocking traffic at intersections and then on Interstate 94, a major highway.

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.

"Justice was done", Gray told Reuters by telephone. Yanez was innocent. He was just doing his job'.

"All of us as Americans should be troubled by these shootings, because these are not isolated incidents", Obama said at the time. The city intends to offer Officer Yanez a voluntary separation agreement to help him transition to another career other than being a St. Anthony officer.

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