MINNEAPOLIS (WCCO) — The Jeronimo Yanez verdict sparked peaceful protests overnight as groups of people gathered on Interstate 94 near Dale Street in St. Paul, leading to several arrests.
A jury found the former St. Anthony Police officer not guilty on all three counts related to the shooting of Philando Castile last July.
The protest went into the early hours of the morning, with the Minnesota State Patrol officially gave the all-clear for opening up the freeway around 2 a.m.
A massive crowd spilled onto I-94 Friday night, closing all four lanes of traffic at about 10:30 p.m.
When it was all said and done, 18 people were arrested for unlawful assembly. The state patrol released their names Saturday morning. Four names have been omitted because they are juveniles:
- Anna Marie Appelbaum, 58
- Jeanelle Marie Carufel, 19
- David James Clarey, 21
- Samuel Jacob Doten, 23
- Shijun Du, 25
- Savah Irene Dye, 45
- Jane Dodson Hornsby, 22
- Cory Jeziorski, 25
- Sheniah Josaphin Johnson, 18
- Madelynn Rose Kerstetter, 20
- Jeremy Howard Isiah Little, 24
- Alexander Thomas Malm, 19
- Clinton Lamone Thomas, 31
- John Ryan Waters, 29
Two of the people arrested are journalists: Clarey, from the Minnesota Daily, and Du, from City Pages.
The adults walked out of the Ramsey County Detention Center later in the morning.
“Just kind of speechless on everything,” said college student Jeanelle Carufel. “Didn’t really expect to end up in this situation.”
Another student described what happened as the protest neared its end.
“We were surrounded and I said, ‘Can I leave?’ And they said, ‘No, it’s too late for that,'” Jane Hornsby said. “And then they came up and arrested me. A lot of us were blindsided by it.”
The State Patrol told WCCO they gave three warnings to exit I-94. Those who didn’t ended up in handcuffs.
Police booked all 18 for unlawful assembly. One man was also accused of fourth-degree assault and fleeing.
David Clarey, an editor for the University of Minnesota’s Minnesota Daily, was there streaming the protest on social media.
“One guy kind of ran off and there was more of a physical altercation there. For the most part from what I could tell things were kept pretty peaceful,” Clarey said.
Without a media badge displayed, Clarey got caught in chaos.
“I hear that it’s an unlawful protest and so at some point you kind of have to decide am I going to stay and do my job or am I going to get back, and obviously I decided just to stay,” he said.
Cory Jeziorski says he was driving when he came upon the large crowd.
“I wasn’t even with them, I didn’t even march. I tried to get out of the car and then like the cops tackled us,” Jeziorski said.
Carufel says it’s not an experience she wants to repeat, but she will continue to stand for what she believes is right.
“That was scary and it’s just a taste of what some people go through,” Carufel said.
The state patrol estimates 1,500 people were in the initial demonstration that spilled onto the interstate.
In the last session at the State Capitol, lawmakers wanted to stiffen the penalties for protesting on freeways, but that bill never made it out of the legislature.
A group of protesters also made their way to the Governor’s residence, where they stayed until about 3 a.m. Saturday
There is now a large memorial dedicated to Castille at the scene of the fatal traffic stop In Falcon Heights.
People showed up and left signs and flowers near the sidewalk by the Minnesota State Fairgrounds soon after the verdict was announced.
There have not been any reported injuries from the demonstrations, and St. Paul police say no officers were hurt.