Protesters to Yanez acquittal hold rally at Capitol
Published 7:51 am Tuesday, June 20, 2017
By S. M. Chavey
St. Paul Pioneer Press
ST. PAUL — Monday’s protest at the State Capitol marked the fourth consecutive day of demonstrations denouncing the acquittal of St. Anthony police officer Jeronimo Yanez.
On Friday, the 12-member Jury declared Yanez not guilty of manslaughter after Yanez shot and killed Philando Castile during a traffic stop a year prior. Castile’s July 6 death was the latest in a national string of police shootings last summer, stirring weeks of protests in Minnesota and elsewhere.
St. Anthony has said Yanez will not return to the department.
Protesters gathered at the Capitol on Friday evening before marching through the streets of St. Paul. 18 were arrested after a group shut down Interstate 94. Saturday and Sunday’s gatherings were smaller.
Monday’s rally, billed as a Families for Philando event, attracted primarily parents and children just starting summer vacation.
“I’m here because I can be here. I’m a teacher so I have days off now. As a teacher, I’m a parent to lots and lots of children,” Nora Krings said. “My daughter went to J. J. Hill so it’s personal for us. It’s hard for my daughter to fully understand why this is happening and I don’t have answers for her. I’m here for her and for all my kids as a teacher.”
Daniel Muro LaMere, a father of three, organized the event.
“I felt like I was hearing about people taking action, and I wasn’t able to go out and do because things were happening at dinner time or bedtime and I couldn’t risk an arrest. It’s important to get like-minded people together both as an example for our kids and as a way to make a change,” La Mere said.
Many children marched around inside the Capitol holding signs they’d created and chanting “black lives matter.”
“We’re just here to be part of a community that’s continued to mourn the loss of Mr. Phil,” Ryan Vernosh, who was with his wife and two daughters, said.