The Minnesota State Patrol arrested 18 people overnight as thousands of protesters expressed their outrage over the “not guilty” verdict handed to St. Anthony Police Officer Jeronimo Yanez on charges of manslaughter in last year’s killing of Philando Castile. Among those arrested were two journalists covering the protests.
Journalists Susan Du from Star Tribune’s City Pages and David Clarey from the student–run Minnesota Daily were arrested and charged with unlawful assembly and being a public nuisance while covering protesters who had blocked Interstate 94.
Colleagues tweeted video of the arrests, noting that it took hours for police to finally release the journalists at 9:45 a.m. on Saturday.
According to the Star Tribune, at least 2,000 people gathered at the State Capitol to hear painful statements from Castile’s friends and family following the acquittal. They then marched down University Avenue, with about 500 people moving to block traffic on I-94. Shortly after midnight, several police units forced protesters onto an exit ramp, where they were arrested.
Police confiscated Du’s phone, camera, and computer, according to the Tribune.
Clarey posted video of the protests shortly before his arrest:
Castile’s killing and Yanez’s acquittal are yet another glaring example of the failure of the country’s criminal justice system to hold police officers accountable for the unjustified killing of African Americans. A mostly white jury deliberated for nearly 30 hours this week before issuing the “not guilty” verdict. The St. Anthony police force said it would dismiss Yanez from the department.
“If we cannot get this one right, I don’t know what that means for us as a nation,” Castile family representative Judge Glenda Hatchet said Saturday morning.
“My son loved this city, and this city killed my son,” Philando Castile’s mother, Valerie, said on Friday following the verdict.