Minnesota is under a lot of tension as protests have continued for four days. According to MPRNews, approximately 400 people participated, on July 10, 2016, in a children’s march in St. Paul, Minnesota. Also, protests took place on July 9, when police arrested over 200 people on demonstration sites. The protests were caused by the deaths of Philando Castile, who was killed by a police officer on July 6, 2016, and Alton Sterling, murdered on July 5, by police officers, in Baton Rouge, Louisiana.
Castile, a 32-year-old African-American, was driving a car with his girlfriend and her 4-year-old daughter in Falcon Heights, St. Paul, Minnesota. He was pulled over by officers, Jeronimo Yanez and Joseph Kauser. According to KARE11, the officers thought Castile was a suspected match for an armed robbery suspect from a few days earlier. When Castile was asked for his license and registration he confessed he was carrying a concealed weapon. The police officers, assuming Castile would pull out his gun, shot him in the arm several times.
The victim’s girlfriend started a live stream on Facebook, showing Castile bleeding and moaning. According to “StarTribune,” no medical care was provided to the 32-year-old until the paramedics arrived, several minutes after the incident. About 20 minutes after he was shot, Castile was declared dead in the emergency room of the Hennepin County Medical Center. The medical examiner qualified his death as a homicide due to the victim’s multiple gunshot injuries.
Not a Single Incident
The death of Castile, the 32-year-old from Minnesota, came just one day after a 37-year-old black man was killed by police officers, in Baton Rouge, Louisiana. According to “The Advocate,” on July 5, the shooting of Sterling was declared a homicide due to the victim’s multiple gunshot wounds to the chest and back.
The deaths of Castile and Sterling stirred reactions globally. People from all across the world mourned the loss and expressed their condolences to the grieving family and friends of the victims under the hashtag #BlackLivesMatter.
Protests Continue After 4 Days in Minnesota and Louisiana
Moreover, Minnesota and Louisiana are under pressure as protests have continued for four days. On July 9, over 100 people were arrested in St. Paul, Minnesota, while blocking an interstate roadway. Also, in Baton Rouge, La., police took into custody, more than 120 persons from multiple protest sites. Furthermore, during the Saturday protests, at least 21 police officers “were hurt after being hit by rocks, firecrackers, and bottles thrown by protesters.”
On July 10, approximately 400 people walked from Maxfield Elementary School to J.J. Hill Montessori School, in St. Paul, Minnesota, in a children’s march. The demonstration’s destination was the school where Castile worked for the last 14 years serving lunches in the cafeteria. About 250 kids, followed by their parents and friends, chanted and carried signs with messages about racism, peace, and unity.
However, it appears that the incidents have nothing to do with racism. The Minnesota officer’s lawyer declared that his client thought Castile was pulling out a gun and fired preventively. Despite this statement, according to Breitbart, Minnesota Governor Mark Dayton considered, during a press conference, that this would not have happened if the driver or the passengers were white.
The ongoing investigation is being overseen by the Saint Antony Police Department and the Minnesota Bureau of Crime Apprehension. The Public Slate will provide updates to this investigation as they are made available.
By Bianca-Ramona Dumitru
Edited by Jeanette Smith
BREITBART: Race had nothing to do with Minnesota shooting, says cop’s lawyer
KARE11: Police scanner audio
MPRNews: Protests continue four days after shooting death of Philando Castile
NPR: More Than 200 People Arrested At Protests In Louisiana And Minnesota
StarTribune: Falcon Heights police shooting reverberates across the nation
The Advocate: ‘He’s got a gun! Gun’: Video shows fatal confrontation between Alton Sterling, Baton Rouge police officer
Image Courtesy of Tony Webster‘s Flickr Page – Creative Commons License