Philando Castile was shot and killed by Minnesota police officer Jeronimo Yanez in July of last year, during a traffic stop. Castile’s girlfriend had live-streamed the occurrence to Facebook which went viral. Those grieving Castile’ death have waited over a year for justice.
Yanez claimed he was in fear for his life and believed Castile was reaching for his gun. Castile’s girlfriend says he was only reaching for his I.D. Castile did have a permit to carry a gun and had alerted the officer to that fact.
On Friday, Yanez was found not guilty, which sparked a massive protest in Minnesota.
— WCCO – CBS Minnesota (@WCCO) June 17, 2017
Protest organizers posted on Facebook saying: “This verdict shows how the system is rigged against justice for victims of police terror.”
The protest was peaceful and lasted all day. In the evening, a smaller group broke off and walked down Interstate 94, blocking both sides of the freeway, which later led to arrests.
Castile’s death was one of many fatal shootings of African Americans by police in the U.S. More than 260 black men were killed by police in 2016. Around 40 of them were unarmed.
Castile’s family believes he was profiled because of his race. The video live feed did not fully capture what was occurring in the vehicle that day, which left the jurors to decide whether they believed Yenez when he claimed Castile had is hand on his gun.