Restraint evident in Castile protests
It is no surprise, of course, that the acquittal of Jeronimo Yanez in the shooting of Philando Castile has been met with anger and dismay by his family and by the black community and others who have been galvanized by a long string of deaths of young blacks at the hands of police. It was inevitable that protests and rallies would arise, as they did in St. Paul Friday night.
Protestors marched from the state capitol in St. Paul and, as they did last year, about 500 marched down the ramps onto Interstate 94, blocking traffic on the busiest traffic connection between the Twin Cities.
But as angry and emotional as the protestors were, they were also peaceful. There was no report of property damage, no shop windows broken, no cars overturned. Police response to the protest was restrained and respectful as well. Lines were set up well away from the protesters on the freeway and police waited them out. Protestors were given the opportunity to march back up the ramps to leave. In the end, a few dozen people were left, and police managed to push them off the freeway. In all, 18 people were arrested in a situation that could have been much worse.
The death of Philando Castile was sad and according to testimony in the Yanez trial, unnecessary. We are sure there will be more protests in the days ahead. We hope they will be held and met with the same restraint that was shown on Friday in St. Paul.