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Arrests in Minnesota Clashes after Castile Cop's Acquittal

19 June 2017

In the aftermath of protests in Minnesota following a police officer being found not guilty in the shooting death of Philando Castile, Sen.

More than 2,000 people have marched through Minnesota to protest against the acquittal of a police officer who fatally shot Philando Castile, a black motorist, as he sat in his auto with his girlfriend and her four-year-old daughter. Americans were stunned to see the video, live-streamed on Facebook, of his panicked girlfriend, Diamond Reynolds, as blood spread on Castile's shirt. Two holdouts eventually agreed after five days. Castile was said to have told Yanez he was armed and had a permit to carry.

ABC News has the story of the acquittal of the police officer who was accused of second-degree manslaughter.

The verdict was met with immediate outrage and a protest held at the state Capitol in St. Paul, before moving onto Interstate 94.

Circumstances of the shooting led to weeks of protests a year ago in St. Paul and the adjoining city of Minneapolis, and fueled a national debate about the appropriate use of force by police against racial minorities.

Minnesota State Patrol officers arrest protesters during a gathering after the verdict.

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The rally grew to almost 2,000 strong by 9 p.m. when demonstrators began moving west on University Avenue, away from the Capitol. Their signs read "Unite for Philando" and "Corrupt systems only corrupt". "Yanez still guilty", "Hand in Hand, we will fill the streets" and "When will black lives matter?" Police response to the protest was restrained and respectful as well.

Marchers also stopped outside of the downtown Minneapolis Downtown Police precinct. Police arrested 18 people.

The freeway was open to vehicle traffic by around 11:44 p.m.

The video footage of the aftermath of the shooting taken by Castile's girlfriend had shaped many public perceptions of the fatal shooting before the trial. "I urge each of us to move forward in a way that is peaceful and respectful of everyone - residents, demonstrators and police officers alike", Mayor Christopher Coleman said in a statement.

Only one police officer in recent publicized cases is facing jail time. On Friday, a jury acquitted the Minnesota police officer who killed him.

Meanwhile, in a statement on the verdict, St. Paul Mayor Chris Coleman called Castile "a son of St. Paul - a graduate of Central High School, and a dedicated employee at J.J. Hill Montessori, where he was loved by his students and co-workers".

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The march was hosted by Nekima Levy-Pounds, a civil rights lawyer and activist.

"Justice was done", he said.

University of Minnesota student Aurin Chowdhury said she was disgusted by the verdict, but not surprised.

Jeronimo Yanez also cleared of two lesser charges of endangering Castile's girlfriend and her then 4-year-old daughter.

Moans of dismay and weeping swept through the courtroom after the verdict was announced.

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