Another police shooting acquittal worries black gun owners

Philando Castile's Mom Decries The Justice System That Failed Her Son

State police said on Twitter that it arrested 18 protesters after a smaller group splintered off and walked down an entrance ramp to block Interstate 94 in St. Paul, shutting down traffic in both directions. We felt all along his conduct was justified.

"This verdict tells African Americans across the country that they can be killed by police officers with impunity, even when they are following the law, and that it is reasonable for any person interacting with an African American in any way to fear for his or her life, " Rep. Cedric Richmond, D-La., chairman of the Congressional Black Caucus, said in a statement.

A Minnesota police officer was cleared Friday in the fatal shooting of Philando Castile, a blac.

The dead man's mother, Valerie Castile, speaking to reporters outside the court afterwards, said: "I'm mad as hell right now". Castile knew the drill, and seemed to cooperate with Officer Yanez.

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.

The verdict also tells blacks that "the Second Amendment does not apply to them" because Castile "was honest with the officer about having a weapon in the vehicle, and there is no evidence that he attempted to or meant to use the weapon against the officer", the Louisiana Democrat said.

Blocking highways as a form of protest is a common tactic in Minnesota.

Yanez was also cleared of lesser counts related to endangering Castile's girlfriend and her daughter for firing his gun into the vehicle near them. Dayton, a Democrat, drew criticism in the days after the shooting for suggesting that Castile might not have been shot if he was white.

Thousands of people took to the streets Friday to protest the not guilty verdict in the Philando Castile killing trial.

There was also video of the shooting captured from a camera mounted on the dashboard in Yanez's squad vehicle.

In it, Castile was seen bleeding to death in the driver's seat. He says the jury sympathizes with Castile's family.

He would not identify the two holdouts, but said they were not the jury's only two black members.

Yanez, who is Latino, testified he stopped Castile in a suburb of St. Paul, Falcon Heights, because he thought Castile resembled someone who robbed a nearby store several days earlier. No video existed of exactly what happened inside the vehicle.

Yanez was charged with second-degree manslaughter, punishable by up to 10 years in prison, though sentencing guidelines suggested around four years would have been more likely. Castile's auto had a faulty brake light, giving the 29-year-old officer reason to pull him over, several experts testified. Castile appears to give something to Yanez through the driver's side window. Yanez opened fire, shooting Castile five times, just seconds after Castile informed him that he was carrying a gun. Prosecutors say Castile's last words were: "I wasn't reaching for it".

According to KTSP-TV, the judge tasked the jurors to determine the level of culpable negligence demonstrated by Yanez in his decision to use lethal force against Castile.

In his testimony, Yanez's voice choked with emotion as he talked of being "scared to death" and thinking of his wife and baby daughter in the split-second before he fired. His girlfriend, Diamond Reynolds livestreamed the aftermath of the shooting on Facebook because, she said, she wanted to make sure the truth was known.

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