The Drug Policy Alliance Statement On The Acquittal Of Officer Yanez
Jun 21 2017 by Desiree Burns
Police arrested 18 people.
Yanez, 29, shot Castile, 32, multiple times on July 6, 2016, seconds after the black motorist alerted the officer that he was carrying a gun, during the traffic stop. Mr. Yanez's defense argued that the officer 'did what he had to do, ' claiming that Mr. Castile had marijuana in his vehicle and that 'he was stoned, ' a too-common rationalization in police killings, and an allegation that would appear in this case to be contradicted by dashboard video showing Mr. Castile to be compliant, alert and courteous. The immediate aftermath of Castile'sshooting was captured on video recorded by Reynolds and broadcast on Facebook Live. What should have been a routine traffic stop quickly escalated into something far worse because, as Yanez claimed after the stop, he believed that Castile matched the description of a robbery suspect police were looking for.
To many demonstrators Friday, the verdict came as little surprise and fit into a larger catalog of situations between police officers and black men. She says those arrested were booked at Ramsey County Jail on charges including being a pedestrian on the busy freeway.
She says the verdict shows "the system continues to fail black people".
Yanez approached Castile's auto on the driver's side. "However that doesn't take away from the tragedy of the event", Kelly said. She urged protesters to remain peaceful while also calling on lawmakers to consider improvements in police training, hiring and other issues she felt contributed to her son's death.
Yanez, who is Latino, testified he stopped Castile in a suburb of St. Paul, Falcon Heights, because he thought Castile resembled someone who robbed a nearby store several days earlier.
Prosecutor John Choi, who made the decision to charge Yanez, said he knows the acquittal is painful for many people, but that the verdict must be respected..
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"This incident seemed so egregious and avoidable that we hoped that this time, it might be different - that this time, justice might be served", the statement said.
The officer, Jeronimo Yanez, was charged with second-degree manslaughter and endangering safety by discharging a firearm in the shooting.
State police said on Twitter that it arrested 18 protesters after a smaller group splintered off and walked down an entrance ramp to block Interstate 94 in St. Paul, shutting down traffic in both directions.
It was the first time in the history of the state that a police officer was charged in a fatal shooting that happened on duty.
The incident, one of several deaths of black men and boys shot by USA police, sparked outrage and protests in St Paul. Al Franken (D-MN) took to Facebook today to call on everyone to join together in fighting "systemic racial inequalities" that may be at play in many of these shootings by law enforcement. "God help America", Reynolds said in a statement Friday.
December 23: Defense attorneys remove the first judge assigned to oversee Yanez's case, Judge Edward Wilson. "I told him not to reach for it".