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Another police shooting acquittal worries black gun owners

19 June, 2017, 05:07 | Author: Abel Ruiz
  • Stephen Maturen  Getty Images

A couple hundred protesters have targeted the Minnesota city where a police officer worked after a jury acquitted him in the fatal shooting of a black motorist previous year.

Organizers urged protesters to stay off of nearby Interstate 94, but about 10:30 p.m., about 500 people raced onto it and blocked lanes in both directions. The crowds were ordered to disperse 90 minutes later and Minnesota State Patrol troopers started arresting those who failed to leave the interstate.

"The jury's decision to acquit Officer Yanez does not negate the fact that Philando Castile's tragic death is part of a disturbing national pattern of officers using excessive force against people of color, often during routine encounters".

Yanez had initially singled out Castile for a traffic stop because the officer thought he bared a resemblance to a robbery suspect.

Mr Castile had informed Officer Yanez just seconds before he was shot that he was carrying a gun.

Castile's death was captured via a Facebook livestream launched by his girlfriend seconds after he was shot by the police officer.

July 12: Castile's relatives say they will file a lawsuit in his death. His death captured national attention when his girlfriend, who was in the auto with her young daughter, streamed the aftermath of the shooting live on Facebook.

"We are horrified and distraught by yet another police killing of an African American man for which no one will be held accountable". After the verdict, St. Anthony announced plans to dismiss Yanez. At least 2,000 people filled the steps leading to the State Capitol in St. Paul to listen to activists and friends of Castile express their anger at the verdict.

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Hundreds of demonstrators gathered outside the Minnesota state capitol in St Paul on Friday evening [Saturday NZT], and a series of speakers demanded justice for minorities in the American judicial system and stronger accountability measures for police.

But no video existed of exactly what happened inside the auto. "I told him not to reach for it".

Much of the incident, in which Castile, 32, was shot in his auto, was streamed live on social media.

"This time we had a young man who had no criminal record", she said.

Castile's girlfriend, Diamond Reynolds, said she is "incredibly disappointed with the jury's verdict".

Yanez, the son of a Mexican immigrant, testified during the trial in Ramsey County District Court that he feared for his life after Castile began reaching for a firearm that Castile had disclosed he had in his possession.

"The system continues to fail black people", she said.

Thompson says it's hard for him to enjoy his Father's Day knowing his friend never got a chance to have a child and his mother will never have a grandchild by her only son.

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