Another police shooting acquittal worries black gun owners

Jury acquits officer in motorist's killing

Thousands protested last night in Minnesota after the acquittal of the police officer who fatally shot Philando Castile during a traffic stop previous year; 18 were arrested. The Minnesota State Patrol would update on their Twitter with a clarification as to the cause of the arrests.

Yanez fired repeatedly at Castile, testifying later he though the man was reaching for a gun. The shooting of Philando Castile was captured on Facebook Live by his girlfriend as her young daughter looked on, lending an extra layer to the same old story of police using excessive force on an African-American.

But no video existed of exactly what happened inside the auto.

Dennis Ploussard, one of the twelve jurors, said that the jury was broken down 10-2 for acquitting Officer Jeronimo Yanez of his manslaughter charges - 10 jurors were in favor of clearing Officer Yanez and the other two were unconvinced. Meanwhile, citizens and protesters around St. Paul held peaceful vigil, carrying signs that condemned the murder of Philando and the acquittal of Yanez.

After the hour-long rally, protesters took to the streets.

Hundreds of demonstrators gathered outside the state capitol in St Paul on Friday evening, and a series of speakers demanded justice for minorities in the American judicial system and stronger accountability measures for police. Some, however, splintered off and went on I-94. By early Saturday morning, at least 18 people had been arrested for failing to leave the freeway.

A police statement said the charges against the 18 included "being a pedestrian on the freeway".

Ramsey County Attorney John Choi, who made the decision to charge Yanez, said his office considered carefully before bringing the case. "This time we had to get it right", she said. "I know that if he could, he would take back what he did, and we all wish, and he would too, that this never happened". Reynolds said Castile told Yanz he had a permit to carry a handgun and was reaching for ID when he was shot.

"I am so disappointed in the state of Minnesota", Castile's mother, Valerie Castile, said at a news conference after the verdict was read. Two of the 12-member jury were black.

"The system continues to fail black people, and it will continue to fail you all", said Valerie Castile. "I believe that, working together, we can make the changes necessary to secure both safety and justice, in all of our communities, for all Minnesotans", Dayton said in the statement.

Castile's death was one of several killings of black men by police officers that garnered national attention and sparked protests.

The finding was in line with recent history showing trials of police officers often end in non-convictions - almost 40 percent of the time for those that Philip Stinson, a criminologist at Ohio's Bowling Green State University, has tracked since 2005.

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