The remaining protesters fighting criminal charges for demonstrating outside the governor’s residence after Philando Castile was killed by a police officer in 2016 will not be prosecuted.
The St. Paul City Attorney’s Office said Wednesday that it is dropping all charges against the last 17 people who were arrested in the protests.
“We reviewed these cases with fairness and adherence to the applicable laws,” City Attorney Lyndsey Olson said in a written statement. “In light of the evidence, we have determined that further pursuit of these charges is not in our city’s best interest.”
Castile was fatally shot by then-St. Anthony police officer Jeronimo Yanez during a routine traffic stop in Falcon Heights on July 6, 2016.
The killing, which was partly broadcast live on Facebook by Castile’s girlfriend, Diamond Reynolds, set off days of protests outside the governor’s residence on Summit Avenue in St. Paul, culminating in the arrest of 73 people in late July.
Of those arrested, 49 pleaded guilty in their cases, accepting either a petty misdemeanor or “diversion options,” the city attorney said.
The rest proceeded to trial, with six being acquitted and one being convicted.
The seventeen cases dismissed Wednesday were awaiting trial.