Thousands of angry, woke and fired-up Minnesotans took to the streets on Friday, hours after ex-Police Officer Jeronimo Yanez was acquitted of all charges in the shooting death of 32-year-old motorist Philando Castile nearly one year ago.
The protesters gathered at the Minnesota Capitol in St. Paul, holding “Black Lives Matter” signs and chanting, “No justice, no peace! Prosecute the police!” in response to the verdict, after which they swarmed the streets.
State police said on Twitter that they 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.
On Friday morning, Yanez, 29, was cleared of a manslaughter charge as well as two lesser charges. In some small semblance of justice, the Associated Press reports that Yanez will soon be out of a job as a police officer.
Valerie Castile, Philando’s mother, addressed the crowd directly after leaving the courthouse.
“The system continues to fail black people, and it will continue to fail you all,” said Valerie Castile. “When they get done with us, they coming for you, for you, for you and all your interracial children. Y’all are next, and you will be standing up here fighting for justice just as well as I am.”