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Black gun owners worried by acquittal in Castile shooting

19 June 2017

Protesters and family members of Philando Castile gather outside the state Capitol in St. Paul, Minn., Friday June 16, 2017. Supporters of Philando Castile hold signs as they march along an on-ramp for Interstate 94 in St. Paul, Minn., after leaving a vigil at the state Capitol on Friday, June 16, 2017.

Sunday marked the third day of protests after the acquittal of former officer Jeronimo Yanez in the shooting death of Philando Castile.

Officer Jeronimo Yanez was charged with second-degree manslaughter for shooting Castile seven times during a traffic stop.

Mr Castile had reportedly been reaching for his wallet but the officer testified that Mr Castile was ignoring his commands not to pull out the gun and he feared for his life.

Many people chanted in unison "stand up, fight back" and "if we don't get no justice, they don't get no peace".

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The evidence included squad auto video, but its wide view didnt capture exactly what happened inside the vehicle — leaving jurors to essentially decide whether they believed Yanez when he said Castile had his hand on the gun.

"Unless our lawmakers get serious about reforming laws that govern lethal force by police, justice will continue to elude grieving families", said Amnesty International USA researcher Justin Mazzola. "I can't even say be safe & "smart" because #PhilandoCastile was & so many are & still this.", while Will & Grace star Mullally raged: "I'M SO F**KING SICK OF THIS".

The jury cleared the policeman of second degree manslaughter and two counts of felony of intentional discharge of a risky weapon for endangering the safety of Ms Reynolds and her four-year-old daughter.

There is shouting, and Yanez screams, "Don't pull it out!" before he fires seven shots into the auto, five of which hit Castile.

In his testimony, Yanez said he stopped Castile because he thought he resembled to one of two men who had robbed a nearby store a few days prior to the shooting.

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Coleman said despite arrests that happened on the interstate, he thought the demonstration went well. Nielson said police gave three warnings for people to get off the freeway.

During the stop, Castile volunteered, "Sir, I have to tell you, I do have a firearm on me".

Tamir Rice, a 12-year-old boy with a pellet gun tucked into his waistband, was fatally shot by a white Cleveland police officer in November 2014. Protests erupted in the Twin Cities and beyond. Prosecutors say Castile's last words were: "I wasn't reaching for it".

"The system in this country continues to fail black people and will continue to fail us", she added. Defense attorneys claimed Yanez felt that his life was in danger and shot Castile after he told the officer he was armed.

An attorney for Yanez, Earl Gray, praised the verdict. Prosecutor John Choi said the acquittal was painful, but that the verdict "must be respected".

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"This is a tragedy that impacts many people and lives in our community were forever changed", St. Paul Public Schools said in a statement. Yanez was innocent. He was just doing his job'.