The Latest: 150 gather at Minnesota park for Castile rally
ST. PAUL, Minn. (AP) — The Latest on the acquittal of a Minnesota police officer who shot and killed a black driver (all times local):
About 150 people gathered in a Minneapolis park for a rally and downtown march in response to the acquittal of a police officer who shot and killed a black driver, a muted response compared to protests one night earlier.
One of the organizers, Samantha Pree-Stinson, a candidate for City Council, tells the Minneapolis Star-Tribune (http://strib.mn/2sCbJuv ) that the group wouldn’t be marching onto a freeway after its gathering Saturday night at Loring Park.
On Friday night, after the verdict was announced, there were 18 arrests of people police said ignored warnings to leave Interstate 94 in St. Paul.
St. Anthony police officer Jeronimo Yanez was acquitted of manslaughter and other charges in the fatal shooting last summer of Philando Castile during a traffic stop.
Authorities arrested 18 people during a protest of the acquittal of a suburban Minneapolis police officer who shot and killed a black driver.
Minnesota State Police spokeswoman Lt. Tiffani Nielson said in a news release Saturday that officers began arresting protesters at 12:30 a.m. after issuing three warnings for them to get off of Interstate 94 in St. Paul.
She says those arrested were booked at Ramsey County Jail on charges including being a pedestrian on the busy freeway.
Protesters rallied outside the state Capitol on Friday night after a jury acquitted St. Anthony police officer Jeronimo Yanez of manslaughter and other charges in the fatal shooting last summer of Philando Castile during a traffic stop.
The protesters eventually left the Capitol and began marching through the streets, with hundreds splintering off and blocking the freeway for about two hours.
The world learned of Philando Castile’s death through a Facebook livestream launched by his girlfriend seconds after he was shot by a Minnesota police officer.
But no video existed of exactly what happened inside the car. That left a jury to decide whether they believed Officer Jeronimo Yanez on the witness stand, and they opted Friday to acquit the officer.
Yanez testified that Castile, a school cafeteria worker, was reaching for his gun despite his commands not to pull it out. And Yanez said he feared for his life.
Friday’s acquittal prompted swearing from Castile’s family members. Valerie Castile said her son was murdered.
Juror Dennis Ploussard says most jurors voted for acquittal early on. Two holdouts eventually agreed after five days. He says the jury sympathizes with Castile’s family.