Groups Seek Change in Wake of Yanez Verdict

The case against Jeronimo Yanez may be over, but that isn’t stopping activist groups from seeking justice.

Jeronimo Yanez

MINNEAPOLIS — The trial of Philando Castile and his subsequent separation from the St. Anthony Police Department has concluded, but that has not stopped several groups from attempting to right perceived wrongs.

Communities United Against Police Brutality has filed a formal complaint with the Minnesota Office of Lawyers Professional Responsibility against lead criminal defense attorney Earl Gray reports Sarah Horner of the Pioneer Press.

The complaint by the group alleges that Gray exhibited racial prejudice against an Ethiopian juror during voir dire, by trying to dismiss the juror for not being well versed in the American legal system and questioning her on her background.  

Gray told the Pioneer Press that the allegations against him were absurd.

Meanwhile, news broke Monday that the National Rifle Association (NRA) has made an official statement on the death of Philando Castile, a permit to carry holder.

Huffington Post reports Dana Loesch, a conservative radio host and NRA spokesperson said the death of Castile could have been avoided.

While on CNN, Loesch, participated in a segment with Women’s March co-organizer Tamika Mallory to discuss a march on Washington against the NRA “Do I believe that Philando Castile deserved to lose his life over a [traffic] stop? I absolutely do not,” Loesch said. “I also think that this is why we have things like NRA carry guard, not only to reach out to the citizens to go over what to do during stops like this, but also to work with law enforcement so that they understand what citizens are experiencing when they go through stops like this.”

Loesch’s statement comes as the Women’s March organizers are planning a two-day rally starting July 14, that will begin in Fairfax, Virginia at the NRA headquarters and will end in Washington D.C in front of the Department of Justice building. Women will march 18-miles over a two-day period over an NRA ad featuring protesters and condemning liberals for the violence in the country the Huffington Post reports.

While many will credit Loesch’s statement as the first official statement from the NRA, it is not the first time an NRA personality has spoken out.

“In my eyes, Yanez screwed up big time,” NRA-TV host Colion Noir said at the end of June on Facebook. “I don’t feel he was out to take a black life that day, but it doesn’t matter because his actions cost Philando his life. My legal mind can see why they couldn’t get to Manslaughter in the Second Degree based solely on the facts at hand, but Yanez walking away from this case a free and clear man is just wrong.”

Preya Samsundar

Preya Samsundar was born and raised in Minneapolis, MN. She graduated from the University of Minnesota - Twin Cities this Spring with a B.A. in Political Science and Sociology, with a minor in Strategic Communications. Preya has previously worked on several State Campaign Races.