MINNEAPOLIS (WCCO) – A day after Jeronimo Yanez was acquitted in the shooting death of Philando Castile, Sen. Al Franken said that the 32-year-old cafeteria worker “did not deserve to die.”

In a Facebook post Saturday, the Democratic lawmaker said that he was heartbroken for Castile’s family, and he called for the country to reckon with “systemic racial inequalities” and dismantle them.

Franken also thanked Ramsey County Attorney John Choi for bringing charges in the case. It was the first time in Minnesota history that an officer was charged in an on-duty fatal shooting.

Yanez shot Castile five times on July 6 during a traffic stop in the St. Paul suburb of Falcon Heights. The shooting happened just seconds after Castile informed the officer that he had a gun, which he was licensed to carry.

The shooting gained national attention after Castile’s girlfriend, Diamond Reynolds, live-streamed the gruesome aftermath on Facebook. Protests erupted in the Twin Cities and beyond.

During the trial, Yanez testified that he feared for his life after he saw Castile’s gun. The prosecution, on the other hand, argued that Castile should not have shot Castile in any case.

After five days of deliberation, the jury cleared Yanez of all charges, which included second-degree manslaughter and two lesser charges for endangering Reynolds and her young daughter, who was in the backseat.

Following the verdict, peaceful protests were held throughout the weekend in St. Paul, Minneapolis and St. Anthony.

Comments (5)
  1. Tim Neumann says:

    Franken stumping for more votes, going with the flavor of the day

  2. Totally disappointed Al would side with the BLM when there was no evidence to suggest this thug with a gun didn’t deserve what he got.

  3. Blubber lips didn’t do anything unexpected. His constituency consists of left wing loonies & parasites from the metro, so that’s whon he’s pandering to.

  4. Here’s a point that seems to get missed every time these things happen. Officers don’t go out on patrol each day expecting to kill someone. They are expecting to get home though and will do what’s necessary to make sure that happens. Do as directed and everybody goes home. Franken, you’re a complete moron.

  5. Enough Al! There is a total other side of this story not being told. The media is bias. Read facebook: State of MN v Officer Jeronimo Yanez Keep an open mind (impossible by some).
    Al please gives us the name of the little girl shot and killed in north Mpls a couple of days after Phils shooting? How many black on black killings had taken place since July 06th. How many “hammer used” felony assaults had taken place since that night? Several more than the one reported. Hate for Law Enforcement is taught by the black crowd at birth. You had joined them. Common sense does not apply via media and government officials. Less proactive police will result in more dead black men. One good minority officer career is over due to Phils actions. Enough Al!