Yanez verdict protesters released from jail; 18 may face charges this week

Published 8:15 am Wednesday, June 21, 2017

By Tad Vezner

St. Paul Pioneer Press

ST. PAUL — The protesters who were arrested on Interstate 94 in St. Paul following the not-guilty verdict of former St. Anthony Police Officer Jeronimo Yanez have all been released from jail, and could be charged by summons this week.

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In all, 14 adults and four juveniles — the large majority in their teens and 20s, with one protester in her 50s — were booked into Ramsey County jail between 2 a.m. and 4 a.m. Saturday. All but one were booked on suspicion of unlawful assembly, public nuisance or both.

One of the protesters was booked on suspicion of a felony. A 31-year-old man from Burnsville, Minn., was booked for fourth-degree assault of a police officer, according to county data.

Most of the protesters were released Saturday, though the Burnsville man was not released until Monday, according to Ramsey County jail officials.

The Minnesota State Patrol, which made the arrests, did not have details surrounding the assault charge, which had yet to be forwarded to the Ramsey County Attorney’s office Monday afternoon. Ramsey County officials said the man was released pending further investigation.

The St. Paul city attorney’s office will handle the lesser charges; they had yet to be forwarded to the attorney’s office as of Monday afternoon. Typically, city officials said, such misdemeanor charges take a couple days to process and are issued by summons, rather than warrants.

On Friday afternoon, Yanez was found not guilty of manslaughter and dangerous discharge of a firearm in the shooting death of Philando Castile. Yanez shot Castile last July during a traffic stop in Falcon Heights; the immediate aftermath was streamed to Facebook by Castile’s girlfriend, sitting in the passenger seat.

The verdict sparked a large protest at the state Capitol, which later streamed onto the freeway. State Patrol troopers issued several warnings, and the crowd of hundreds dwindled to double digits before officers advanced and arrests were made.