Sen. Franken Says Philando Castile ‘Did Not Deserve To Die’

Gov. Mark Dayton offered his condolences to Castile’s family after the verdict, calling his death “a bad tragedy” in a statement that made no mention of Yanez.A Minnesota police officer was acquitted Friday in the shooting of a black motorist whose dying moments were captured on Facebook video in a case that shocked the nation.Protesters held a peaceful demonstration on Friday at the Minnesota State Capitol in St. Paul and then about 1,500 converged on Interstate 94 in the city, blocking the freeway, a Minnesota State Patrol spokeswoman said in an email statement.Thousands of people gathered Friday evening at the state Capitol to protest the eventual verdict. The vigil was held after St. Antho.Castile had a permit for the weapon, and prosecutors questioned whether Yanez ever saw it. Yanez opened fire, shooting Castile five times, just seconds after Castile informed him that he was carrying a gun.He declined to say whether he thought Yanez acted appropriately. “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”.Jeronimo Yanez was also cleared of two lesser charges related to the July traffic stop in a St. Paul suburb.The jury reached its verdict of not guilty on the manslaughter charge as well as the two counts of risky discharge of a firearm Friday afternoon after about 30 hours of deliberations. “Are you kidding me right now?”Yanez said he feared for his safety and thought Castile was reaching for the gun. He was faced two lesser counts of endangering Reynolds and her daughter for opening fire into the auto.This will be a sad July 4th for Philando Castile’s family and his girlfriend Diamond Reynolds.Yanez hired three prominent Minnesota attorneys – Paul Engh, Earl Gray and Thomas Kelly – who have all handled big cases before.Speaking to the press, Philando Castile’s mother Valerie Castile said the policeman got away with murder.Castile told the officer he had a gun on him, which was not visible, and Yanez shot the driver five times, while his girlfriend’s four-year-old daughter watched from the back seat. “I’m mad as hell right now, yes, I am”, she said. In Minnesota, it is legal to carry a gun, and Castile had followed all laws regarding gun ownership.The ACLU also spoke out, saying that the acquittal is “part of a disturbing national pattern of officers using excessive force against people of color, often during routine encounters”. Though he didn’t identify the two holdouts, he explained to the AP that it wasn’t the jury’s only two black members.The squad auto video shows Yanez approaching Castile’s vehicle and asking for a driver’s license and proof of insurance.Reynolds pulled out her cellphone and began live-streaming the shooting’s aftermath on Facebook as Castile bled to death. A Minnesota police officer was cleare.SC officer Michael Slager, who is white, shot black motorist Walter Scott in the back as he fled from a traffic stop.