ST. PAUL, Minn. (WCCO) — The second of four scheduled trials began Monday morning for Minnesotans arrested while protesting on a metro interstate.
These protests happened in the days after Philando Castile was shot and killed by former police officer Jeronimo Yanez. Police arrested 102 people after a long and sometimes violent protest on Interstate 94 last July.
The charges include public nuisance and unlawful assembly, which are both misdemeanors. After plea deals and dismissals, 21 people will ultimately face trial for their part in those demonstrations.
Four of those protesters went before the court on Monday and pleaded guilty to public nuisance, unlawful assembly. They were sentenced to one year probation and fined $186.
Before that court hearing, those co-defendants along with other community activists and family members gathered in front of the Ramsey County Courthouse to hold a news conference. Some who spoke out Monday morning believe there’s a strong connection between those highway protests last summer and the recent violence in Charlottesville.
Earlier this month, the first three protesters pleaded guilty to the charges against them and were sentenced to pay a fine of $186 and to a year of probation.
Future court dates for other protesters are set for Oct. 2, Oct. 30 and Nov. 27.