Demonstrators protested the death of Philando Castile on Sunday afternoon in St. Anthony. They peacefully demonstrated in front of the police department and city hall. It was a St. Anthony police officer that fatally shot Castile last week, sparking protests across the nation and overseas.
Valerie Castile, the mother of Philando, called for peace and released the following statement:
“On behalf of myself and our entire family, we urge all people to remain peaceful in all demonstrations throughout our community and our nation. When demonstrations become violent, it disrespects my son and his memory. Philando was a man of peace and dignity.Please, I ask you to at all times remain peaceful in your expressions of concern regarding his death at the hands of the police. I promise that we will not rest until justice prevails.”
One of the Saint Paul police officers involved in the I-94 shutdown has a broken vertebrae. BringMeTheNews has reached out to the Saint Paul police for additional information.
Protestors also took their march to the St. Anthony City Hall on Sunday. WCCO puts the number of attendees at "a few hundred."
Richfield, Bloomington and airport police were spotted patrolling the protest, according to reports.
Protestors began marching down Silver Lake Road in St. Anthony late afternoon on Sunday, and then double backed toward the police department.
As Sunday's protests in St. Anthony continued, officials released comments about Saturday night's I-94 march.
The mayor of St. Anthony released this video:
The Minnesota State Patrol also released a statement.
“Protesters have ample safe areas to make their voices heard, the freeway is not one of these options,” said Col. Matt Langer, Minnesota State Patrol Chief in a statement. “Freeways are used by everyone and are an artery for fire, ambulance and law enforcement to respond to emergencies. It is illegal to walk on the freeway and blocking traffic can be dangerous for pedestrians on the freeway.”
The State Patrol said that protestors threw rocks, bottles, fireworks and rebar at officers working to contain the protest. Six state patrol troopers were injured, as well as police officers from the St. Paul PD, according to the news release.
"After more than 20 verbal warnings, Troopers arrested 50 people (49 adults, 1 juvenile). St. Paul Police made additional arrests off the freeway. Those arrested by the State Patrol were taken to the Ramsey County Jail and face third degree riot charges. At least eight of the 50 people arrested by the State Patrol were from outside of Minnesota," said the release.
Senator Al Franken also released the following statement on Sunday afternoon:
Activists took turns speaking to the crowd of demonstrators and media gathered in front of the St. Anthony Police station on Sunday afternoon. They symbolically brought out a large scroll listing 222 Minnesotans killed by police in the last few decades. Philando Castile has been added to the bottom of the scroll.
Meanwhile, Black Lives Minneapolis said they are working hard to get the 49 individuals arrested at Saturday night's protest released from jail.
President Barack Obama commented on the protests in the Twin Cities, according to the Star Tribune.
"Any violence directed at police officers is a reprehensible crime....Whenever those of us who are concerned about failures of the criminal justice system attack police, you are doing a disservice to the cause," he said.
Meanwhile, peaceful protests continue in front of a police department in St. Anthony:
The crowd in front of the St. Anthony Police Station has grown to a few hundred, according to reports.
Governor Mark Dayton released a statement about the I-94 shutdown and asked Minnesotans to "remain calm and peaceful during this very difficult time."
People are gathering outside the police station, but not too many right now.
Here's a picture from Mitch Smith of the New York Times, who is at the scene.
The protest is scheduled to take place outside St. Anthony Police Station, which is where the officer who shot Philando Castile is based.
On Saturday the attorney representing Officer Jeromino Yanez told the Associated Press he was "overcome with sadness" over Castile's death.
He also said that Yanez shot Castile as he was reacting "to the presence of that gun and the display of that gun," and that it "had nothing to do with race."
Castile's girlfriend, Diamond Reynolds, said that her boyfriend was reaching into his pocket to get his driver's license, and had told the officer he had a gun and a permit to carry.
Meanwhile, preparations for the march are underway.
Another protest over the death of Philando Castile will be held in the Twin Cities on Sunday, and is due to get underway at 2 p.m.
The "Justice Philando Castile" march will be held between 2 p.m. and 4 p.m. outside the St. Anthony Police Station on Silver Lake Road.
The march was organized by "Don't Shoot," a national protest group opposed to police brutality that has more than 200,000 followers on Facebook. Currently almost 3,000 people have said they will attend the demonstration.
Initially, Black Lives Matter Minneapolis urged its followers not to attend, saying. "We do not support this action. As far as we know it was organized by white people from out of state ... we don't know their intentions, their philosophy or if they are violent."
But Nekima Levy-Pounds, the president of the Minneapolis NAACP, posted on Facebook that organization of the event has been taken over by Monique Cullars-Doty, of Black Lives Matter St. Paul, who is also the aunt of Marcus Golden – who was killed by police in St. Paul last year.
"All control over this event is now local," she said.
It comes after a protest on Saturday night saw more than 100 people arrested and 27 police officers injured during clashes on Interstate 94 in St. Paul.