'Mad as hell,' Philando Castile's mother reacts to not guilty verdict

Family here in St. Louis County believes a guilty officer has gone free

After a jury found the Minnesota police officer who killed Philando Castile not guilty on Friday, Castile's mother Valerie pushed back against the decision. Philando Castile is a St. Louis County, Missouri native.

"People have died for us to have these rights and now we're devolving. We're going back down to 1969. Damn. What is it going to take? I'm mad as hell right now, yes I am," she said.

Castile defended her son, who was killed in July, saying he would never jeopardize someone's life, especially with his girlfriend and her child in the car at the time. Philando Castile was killed during a traffic stop, and his girlfriend live streamed the moments after on Facebook Live.

"I will continue to say murder because where in this planet do you tell the truth and you be honest and you still be murdered by the police of Minnesota?" Castile asked.

Later Friday, thousands of people gathered on the steps of the state Capitol in St. Paul, holding signs and banners and chanting in response to the not guilty verdict.

Jeronimo Yanez was cleared of a manslaughter charge as well as two lesser charges. After the verdict was read, Castile yelled an expletive and family and friends left the courtroom in tears.

"My son loved this state. He had one tattoo on his body, and it was of the Twin Cities," Castile said. "My son loved this city, and this city killed my son."

Castile also addressed the crowd directly after leaving the courthouse, expressing her disappointment.

"The system continues to fail black people, and it will continue to fail you all. Like I said, because this happened with Philando, when they get done with us, they coming for you, for you, for you and all your interracial children," Castile said. "Y'all are next, and you will be standing up here fighting for justice just as well as I am."

Meanwhile, in St. Louis, the family of Castile spoke out on the verdict.

“I prayed every day that we'd get a conviction,” said Philando Castile’s uncle Stacy Castile. He and his brother Gregory Taylor watch from St. Louis County Friday as as the Minnesota jury acquitted officer Yanez in their nephew’s death.

“Everybody is hurt and crying,” said Taylor of the family’s reaction to the news. “We thought sure that we'd get some justice this time.”

“I'm fighting mad. It's not like I'm going to go out and hurt nobody but this type of treatment can't continue. But it's been continuing.”

Contributing: KARE-TV, The Associated Press

Follow Ryan Miller on Twitter @RyanW_Miller

© 2017 USATODAY.COM


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