At least one protester was detained by police in riot gear during a peaceful protest for Philando Castile Tuesday night at St. Paul’s City Hall.
“I feel like something’s going to happen,” Protester Sidney Jameston said as police sirens rang out behind her.
Castile was shot dead by St. Anthony Police Officer Jeronimo Yanez July 6. The shooting spurred multiple protests in the Twin Cities since, with varying degrees of unrest.
Dozens showed up at St. Paul City Hall Tuesday evening to call for the indictment of Yanez in a protest organized by Justice Occupation for Philando. The Ramsey County Attorney’s Office will announce whether it will indict the officer by Sept. 15.
Demonstrators waved signs with messages like “Give Us Justice,” and “Hands Up, Don’t Shoot.”
“We want Yanez sent to jail,” said Protest Organizer Tayso Owens.
The protesters walked up and down Kellogg Boulevard and 4th Street as police followed quietly in cars. The crowd spent some time in Rice Park, speaking about Castile and other people of color who have been shot by law enforcement officers.
“He was a quiet person, but he’s making noise now,” Castile’s Cousin Isaiah Johnson said.
Protesters walked back to City Hall and were later met by with police, who wielded batons, encircling protesters. One officer told protesters their actions were unlawful, telling the crowd to surrender or face arrest. At this time, it’s unclear how many protesters were detained.
After police left, the protesters reorganized in Rice Park, where they continued speaking about Castile. The crowd dispersed around 7:30 p.m., with organizers warning people to leave in groups.
Black Lives Matter, AR14 for Justice and Twin Cities Coalition for Justice were among the groups present at the demonstration.
People of all different races, ages and genders showed up to aid the protest and many had been previously involved in other protests centered around Castile.
“The University of Minnesota is a predominately white university,” said University of Minnesota Professor KC Harrison, who was at the demonstration. “It’s important to have conversations with white people even if it doesn’t affect us personally.”
Many returning protesters said Tuesday’s crowd was smaller than those in the past.
John Thompson, a friend of Castile’s, said he wants to find people who have the power to make a change in the community so an event like Castile’s death won’t happen again.
“[Today] I just found police ready to take everybody to jail,” Thompson said.