Stars Hit Twitter With Outrage Following Philando Castile Death Verdict
The police officer who shot and killed Philando Castile in July, 2016, was acquitted by a jury. In this picture, the outraged star Rosario Dawson is seen at Build Studio on May 24, 2017 in New York City – Photo: Dia Dipasupil/Getty Images North America.
Rosario Dawson and Megan Mullally are among the outraged stars venting their frustrations on social media after the police officer who shot and killed Philando Castile in July, 2016, was acquitted by a jury. The sickening incident, which was streamed on Facebook by Castile’s girlfriend, sparked a series of violent clashes between police and protesters last summer – but even the footage wasn’t enough to convict Minnesota cop Jeronimo Yanez, who pulled the victim over for a broken taillight.
Philando Castile told the officer he had a gun on him, which was not visible, and Jeronimo Yanez shot the driver five times, while his girlfriend’s four-year-old daughter watched from the back seat.
Activists were hoping the cop would be severely punished for his actions, but a jury let him walk free on Friday, and Rosario Dawson, Megan Mullally and Orange Is the New Black castmates Samira Wiley and Uzo Aduba were among those stunned by the verdict.
“Horrifying. In tears,” Rosario Dawson tweeted. “I can’t even say be safe & ‘smart’ because #PhilandoCastile was & so many are & still this…”, while Will & Grace star Mullally raged: “I’M SO F**KING SICK OF THIS. WHERE IS THE JUSTICE? REALLY. F**K ANYONE INVOLVED IN THE ACQUITTAL OF THIS MURDERER.”
Wiley added: “I cannot stop crying for you, Philando”, and Aduba wrote: “Truth lies somewhere here: until we value & speak for the lives of all people, we remain hinged to this chapter of history. My deepest prayers to him, his family, and frankly, for us all.”
Outrage also came from former U.S. leader Bill Clinton’s daughter Chelsea, actress Sanaa Lathan, Broadway star Audra McDonald, Emily Osment, and Anika Noni Rose, who tweeted: “This country, my home, is breaking my f**king heart.”
Yanez was found not guilty of all counts in the fatal shooting of Castile after a 12-member jury spent 27 hours deliberating the case over five days.
Yanez, 29, had been charged with one count of second-degree manslaughter and two counts of reckless discharge of a firearm for killing Castile, 32.
On Friday afternoon a spokesman for the city of St. Anthony in Minnesota issued a statement saying the police officer would no longer be employed in the area.
After the verdict, Castile’s mother, Valerie told the media, “There has always been a systemic problem in the state of Minnesota, and me thinking, common sense that we would get justice. But nevertheless the system continues to fail black people. I am so disappointed in the state of Minnesota. My son loved Minnesota. He had one tattoo on his body and it was of the Twin Cities. My son loved this city, and the city killed my son and the murderer gets away.”