MINNEAPOLIS (WCCO) – In St. Paul and cities across the county, protests over the police killings of black men continued for a fifth straight night.
Protests began in St. Paul Wednesday after St. Anthony police officer Jeronimo Yanez shot and killed Philando Castile in Falcon Heights.
Castile’s girlfriend streamed video of the shooting aftermath live on Facebook.
Since then, it’s been seen millions of times around the world.
On Saturday night, protesters turned violent during a rally in St. Paul.
A group marched from a peaceful demonstration at the Governor’s Residence to Interstate 94, where they shut down both directions of the interstate near Lexington Avenue.
WCCO cameras captured people throwing things at officers. People threw rocks at officers, along with construction rebar, fireworks and even concrete.
Police arrested more than 100 people and said 21 officers were hurt.
The officers that were injured are expected to be OK. One suffered a broken vertebrae and another a dislocated shoulder.
Both are non-life threatening but still serious.
Demonstrators returned to the Governor’s Mansion Sunday after the protests on I-94, and on Monday morning a dozen or so remained.
They are gathered to rally for justice in the death of Castile.
St. Paul Commander Steve Frazer described the I-94 protest as intense, and one of the most dangerous situations he’s experienced in almost 26 years.
“In the 300 – 400 people that were on the highway, there was at least a quarter of the crowd that I would consider very dangerous and very hostile who were building a cache of construction debris and rocks, bottles, some had brought preformed Molotov cocktails. It was ugly,” Frazer said.
Officers and protesters agree it started peacefully.
Protesters were trying to get people to reflect on the life and loss of Castile.
Rashad Turner, leader of Black Lives Matter St. Paul and one of the protest organizers, believes the people who turned violent were not with his group.
“To me it’s just ridiculous. It’s something that can’t happen, something that I condemn, something that every protester out there who is there to peacefully demonstrate condemns,” Turner said. “We’re peaceful protesters. I want to make it very, very clear that we peacefully protest. We do not advocate for violence, we will not tolerate violence.”
On Monday morning, the St. Paul City Attorney Samuel Clark released a statement on possible charges against 50 people arrested in the I-94 protest:
“Over the weekend, rioters endangered others when they stormed Interstate 94, refused to follow more than two dozen orders from law enforcement officers to leave the freeway, and instead opted to participate in an incident that developed into a full scale riot. The State Patrol arrested and booked 50 individuals for Third Degree riot, a gross misdemeanor.
“My team is currently reviewing evidence from the event, including police reports, photos and video to determine whether or not there is sufficient evidence to charge at this time. We will make that initial determination as soon as reasonably possible and before the 10 p.m. deadline by which those arrested can be held without being charged.”
On Sunday night, protesters gathered for a peaceful demonstration outside the Governor’s Mansion.
They said a small group of outsiders made the wrong impression.
Turner said he’ll do everything in his power to make sure it doesn’t happen again.