by Unicorn Riot
St. PAUL, MN – After over five days of deliberations a Ramsey County jury has reached a verdict in the trial of St. Anthony police officer Jeronimo Yanez. Officer Yanez was charged on November 16, 2016 after he killed 32-year-old African-American Philando Castile by shooting him five times during a traffic stop in Falcon Heights, MN on July 6, 2016.
Officer Yanez was found Not Guilty on all counts. He was tried in front of a mostly white jury. The city of St. Anthony announced in a statement made shortly after the verdict that Yanez will not continue as an officer in their police department.
A verdict had been expected on both Wednesday and Thursday but the jury appeared to be deadlocked for quite some time. Each member of the twelve person jury has to agree on charges to reach a verdict.
A protest against the verdict was scheduled for 7 PM central time at the state capitol in St. Paul.
Around 6:30 PM protesters started showing up. The crowd quickly swelled to hundreds of people.
Near the protest at the capitol, the Minnesota State Patrol had deployed an armored vehicle with their Special Response Team. They later relocated the armored vehicle to inside a nearby parking garage.
Memorials to Philando Castile were made at the site of his killing by Yanez, on the side of Larpenteur Avenue.
Reporter Chao Xiong with the Star Tribune reported that state authorities are refusing to release dash cam video showing the shooting until a later date.
St. Paul police plan to respond to any protests after the verdict with a new ‘special operations unit,’ commander Josh Lego recently told MPR News. Officers in nearby Maplewood, MN were also fitted for gas masks recently. A memo issued by Maplewood, MN then-police chief Paul Schnell last month read:
“Out of an abundance of concern, law enforcement agencies are beginning to develop, and in some instances finalize, plans for civil unrest following the trial…“
We spoke with Pastor Danny Givens Jr. the other day about his interpretations of the Yanez trial. He spoke about Yanez’s admitted implicit bias towards Black folks, the trial proceedings, the Castile family, and the abolition of the police. See his interview here:
This article was re-published in accordance with Creative Commons licensing guidelines. Videos from the original article were omitted due to formatting.