ST. PAUL, Minn. - St. Paul Mayor Chris Coleman has announced a series of facilitated community conversations in the wake of Jeronimo Yanez's acquittal in the shooting death of Philando Castile.
"Recognizing there is a need for support, we will be opening the doors of community centers, schools and local gathering spaces for residents to come together for dialogue and understanding," Coleman said. "As people across our city, state and country react to the jury’s verdict, I urge each of us to move forward in a way that is peaceful and respectful of everyone – residents, demonstrators and police officers alike.”
Community conversation times and locations:
- Friday, June 16, 2017, 6 - 8 p.m. - Hallie Q. Brown Community Center, 270 N. Kent Street
- Saturday, June 17, 2017, noon – 2 p.m. - St. Paul College, 235 Marshall Avenue
- Monday, June 19, 2017, 6 - 8 p.m. - Wellstone Center, 179 Robie Street East
“I commend Ramsey County Attorney John Choi and his staff for bringing this case – they did what they believed to be right for the cause of justice," added Coleman. "Regardless of how you feel about the outcome, this is a difficult time in our community."
Minnesota Governor Mark Dayton also issued a statement following the verdict:
“I extend again my deepest condolences to Philando Castile's family, to his friends, and to his community. Minnesotans continue to grieve with them, for their horrible loss. Mr. Castile’s death was a terrible tragedy, with devastating consequences for everyone involved. I will continue to do all I can to help our state heal. There are thousands of law enforcement officers, who courageously risk their lives to protect our communities, and many other dedicated Minnesotans, who are working to correct the injustices in our state. I believe that, working together, we can make the changes necessary to secure both safety and justice, in all of our communities, for all Minnesotans.”
Many around the country are taking to social media to react to the verdict: