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Protesters march through St. Paul, take to the highway

A rally at the State Capitol is underway.

A large protest in response to the Jeronimo Yanez verdictstarted at 7 p.m. at the State Capitol in St. Paul. Organizers say th rally is to "protest this failure of justice!"

Community leaders have called for peaceful demonstrations.

This post has updates from the protest, time-stamped. If you want to continue watching what's going on through the night, check out Unicorn Riot's live stream of the demonstrations here. Otherwise, we'll be back in the morning to catch you up on what happened.


Just before midnight, many of the protesters who were on I-94 started walking off. This happened nearly an hour after police gave a dispersal warning, telling protesters if they didn't get off the freeway they'd be arrested.

11:50 p.m.

As some protesters remain on I-94 despite law enforcement telling them if they didn't leave they'd be arrested, others have gathered together elsewhere to demand justice for Philando Castile.

There are some people at the Governor's Mansion in St. Paul. That's where the community rallied in the days following Philando Castile's death last July.

11:40 p.m.

Some protesters are still on I-94, despite law enforcement giving them a dispersal warning, saying they'd be arrested if they didn't get off the interstate.

You can watch a live stream of the latest via Unicorn Riot here.

11:30 p.m.

Many people have left I-94 – about 150 people remain on the freeway (a half hour before, there were about 500 people), according to tweets. Law enforcement gave the dispersal order around 11:08 p.m., warning that if people stayed on the freeway they'd be arrested.

11:20 p.m.

According to tweets, St. Paul police are also on I-94, where many continue to protest.

11:13 p.m.

There are roughly 500 protesters blocking I-94, with reporters tweeting some have walked off the freeway, while others are walking towards police.

The Minnesota State Patrol tweeted at 11:08 p.m. it had given a dispersal order – in the past, law enforcement said they'd give just one order before making arrests. According to KARE 11's Dylan Wohlenhaus, officials gave protesters a 5-minute warning before they'll start arresting people.

11:05 p.m.

Police, who have been largely absent for most of Friday night's freeway protest, have lined up on I-94 in St. Paul. Liz Sawyer with the Star Tribune tweeted there are two buses waiting nearby, presumably for people who are arrested for trespassing on the interstate.

Independent media outlet Unicorn Riot is streaming it all live. Watch it here.

10:55 p.m.

People of all ages are involved in the march on I-94 in St. Paul, with protesters apparently headed back towards downtown.

 10:45 p.m.

Hundreds of protesters are blocking both directions of I-94 in St. Paul, with some reporters tweeting they haven't seen a single police officer all night.

10:27 p.m.

The crowd is now on the freeway.

The group, with an estimated 2,000 people, followed University Avenue west from the Capitol, then turned south across I-94, then looped back east before turning north on Dale Street. It was there they entered the highway.

And check out this scary footage from KARE 11's Ben Garvin.

10:20 p.m.

Demonstrators have turned back north on Dale Street, according to one tweet.

10:05 p.m.

They aren't headed to either J.J. Hill or the Governor's Residence – they appear to be circling back toward the capitol building.

Fredrick Melo with the Pioneer Press tweeted they're now heading east on Selby Avenue.

And one person taking part says the capitol does indeed seem to be the plan.

9:54 p.m.

Green Line trains are all back to normal, after the crowd turned south off University Avenue.

But where are the marchers headed?

KARE 11's Dylan Wohlenhaus tweeted they just crossed over I-94. There's no confirmation about where they're headed, but the Governor's Residence isn't much farther south. And that's where demonstrators gathered the morning after Castile was killed.

J.J. Hill elementary school, where Castile worked as a cafeteria supervisor, is also that direction, and actually closer to I-94 than the Governor's Residence.

9:43 p.m.

Police now estimate 2,000 protesters, so more in line with what others had been tweeting.

The march has also turned south now on Victoria Street.

9:31 p.m.

Some Green Line light rail trains are still halted because of the march, which has continued down University Avenue.

The Snelling station is about 3 miles west of the State Capitol, where the rally began. Protesters are walking through the street and on the light rail tracks.

9:10 p.m.

St. Paul police estimate there are about 1,500 people marching.

The demonstration is still on University Avenue, and is now at Western.

Others have estimated 2,000 or so marchers.

9:08 p.m.

Unicorn Riot points out a Minnesota State Patrol-owned plane is circling over St. Paul.

You can track the flight path here, and look up plane ownership details here.

8:45 p.m.

Traffic on University Ave. has stopped to allow the march to go by.

University is also the street where the Green Line light rail trains run.

8:30 p.m. – Rally becomes a march

The demonstrators plan to march on University Ave. to Selby Ave., then to the Cathedral of St. Paul and back to the Capitol, the Star Tribune's Liz Sawyer says.

8:20 p.m.

Organizers say the demonstrators are preparing to start marching down University Avenue. They encouraged the crowd to make it a "disciplined march."

One of the final speakers at the Capitol was Nekima Levy-Pounds, an activist, attorney, and Minneapolis mayoral candidate.

8:05 p.m.

An hour into the rally, protesters have expressed anger but the demonstration has been peaceful.

St. Paul is giving people chances to come together and talk about their reactions to the verdict in public forums tonight, tomorrow, and Monday. Mayor Chris Coleman says the idea is to promote dialogue at a difficult time for the community.

7:50 p.m.

The crowd has continued to grow, with some estimates now putting it in the thousands.

The group Unicorn Riot is livestreaming the demonstration here.

7:20 p.m.

Some of the first speakers at the rally were friends of Philando Castile.

7 p.m.

A crowd has gathered on the Capitol steps and their demonstration is underway.

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