Last year, the shooting death of Philando Castile by Minnesota police officer Jeronimo Yanez was big news.
Hillary Clinton bemoaned the loss of one of America’s finest young men, who had only been convicted of criminal acts 31 times.
Such a fine lad!
Officer Yanez, who is nonwhite, was immediately demonized as a murderer and charged with the shooting by authorities. Yesterday, he was found not guilty by a jury of all charges related to the incident. Nonetheless, as he was acquitted he was also fired. Wikipedia does a credible job of laying out the facts of the case in a concise way.
Meanwhile, in the jungle, the natives grow restless.
St. Paul, Minnesota (CNN)Thousands of protesters gathered Friday night after a jury found a police officer not guilty in last year’s fatal shooting of motorist Philando Castile.
Minnesota State Patrol said it arrested 18 protesters following demonstrations on Interstate 94 in St. Paul. They were arrested after they failed to comply with orders to disperse, the agency posted on Twitter.
St. Paul police estimated that 2,000 people marched peacefully through the streets, including a crowd gathered outside the Minnesota state Capitol. Speakers led chants, sang hymns and urged the protesters not to lose hope.
Some held signs that read “this hurts” and “Justice not served for Philando.”
By late Friday night, about 500 people chanting “Black lives … they matter here!!” marched onto Interstate 94 — two miles west of the Capitol — shutting down traffic in both directions.
The protests were expected. After officer Jeronimo Yanez fatally shot Castile during a traffic stop on July 6, 2016, demonstrations took place across the nation, partly because the aftermath of the shooting was live-streamed on Facebook by Castile’s girlfriend, a passenger in the car.
Organizers of the Friday protest said on Facebook, “This verdict shows how the system is rigged against justice for victims of police terror.”
The jury was composed of eight men and four women, including one black man and one black woman. The jury heard two weeks of testimony and spent about 27 hours deliberating.
“I don’t think this was a fair jury at all, made up of more than half middle-aged white people,” she said.
Numerous groups castigated the decision. Sherrilyn Ifill, the director-counsel of the NAACP Legal Defense Fund, said the jury’s decision shows how difficult it is to prosecute a police officer in a fatal shooting.
“This incident seemed so egregious and avoidable that we hoped that this time, it might be different — that this time, justice might be served,” Ifill said.
“Because if the government can take your life and no one is held responsible, you are a second-class citizen, if not fully dehumanized in the eyes of the law,” she said. “That is the devastating message this verdict, along with all those similar acquittals before it, sends to communities of color across the nation.”
The ACLU said in a statement: “Two Supreme Court decisions from the 1980s allow officers to use deadly force when a reasonable officer on the scene could reasonably fear for their safety. These two decisions create an atmosphere where police violence is sanctioned based on what we think a hypothetical officer could have felt, even if, in reality, the officer was acting recklessly, had ill motives or was acting based on implicit bias.
By the way, there’s one little significant detail the fake news reporting often omits.
Philando Castile had a gun on him.