Tell the City of St. Anthony: No pay. Stop all severance negotiations with Yanez immediately.

Officer Jeronimo Yanez could PROFIT from killing Philando Castile

Tell the City of St. Anthony: No severance package for Jeronimo Yanez.


nothing can describe the rage Black people are feeling right now.

The officer who killed Philando Castile, Jeronimo Yanez, was found not guilty on all counts by a mostly-white jury after 5 days of deliberation.1

And as I write this, my hands tremble on the keyboard, because the pain is unbearable. I knew the verdict was coming and had no faith the police would be held accountable. But it never hurts less. Because once again, we sit and watch a mother scream in pain because the person who murdered their loved one got away with it.

Even more enraging is that Yanez stands to actually PROFIT from the pain and suffering he’s caused. As soon as the verdict came down, the City of St. Anthony fired Yanez from the department–hoping to stop people from heading to the streets in rightful protest. They announced the city will begin negotiating a “separation agreement” to help Yanez “transition into a new career.”2

So Yanez has been on a paid vacation for almost a year and now the department is offering him to walk away with a wad of cash? Hell no. Ain’t no way we can allow him to profit from the murder of Philando Castile–by any means.

Tell the City of St. Anthony: No justice. No pay. Stop all severance negotiations with Yanez immediately.

This was a clear cut case. Philando Castile did nothing wrong and was killed for no reason other than the color of his skin. He followed the officer’s every order and immediately alerted him that he was carrying a legal weapon. On a live video, we watched as his girlfriend Diamond Reynolds had to stay as calm and docile as humanly possible to avoid being killed herself–ending every sentence with “sir.”3 But none of that mattered. A courtroom of white jurors was still able to find a way to determine that Yanez killing Philando with seven shots was okay. They were still able to determine that having a police badge means having a license to kill Black people with impunity.

Philando should be here. He should be alive. And though the system keeps trying to tell us that they don’t, Black Lives DO Matter. 

Sign the petition demanding Yanez gets fired without severance.

Philando Castile was pulled over more than 31 times for traffic stops before his death–and faced over 63 misdemeanor traffic charges.4 He was being pulled over for driving while Black and dealing with anti-Black state violence so much that it almost guaranteed he might eventually have a fatal encounter. He owed thousands of dollars in fines to the city–a clear example of the state extracting wealth from the Black community. The words of Valerie Castile couldn’t have been truer after the verdict came down, “My son loved this city, and this city killed my son.”5

Now, the City of St. Anthony is coming to the aid of a killer instead of coming to the aid of a family in mourning–and it’s sickening.

There is no magical thinking, special technology, research report or legal tactic that will stop this from happening. All I can say is that we must continue to organize our people, expand the base, leverage smart strategy to change the written and unwritten rules. Along the way we have to use and change the law, amplify smart research and tech and believe that change is possible — but most of all we must build power. Convictions of police for violence and misconduct don’t change the system alone but when we are able to hold police accountable it sends a powerful message.

Yanez got away without a conviction, but we can’t let him get away with profiting off the murder of a Black man.

Until justice is real,

— Arisha, Rashad, Scott, Clarise, Anay, Malaya, Enchanta, Katrese, and the rest of the Color Of Change team.


1. “Minn. Police Officer Jeronimo Yanez Found Not Guilty on All Charges in the Shooting Death of Philando Castile,” The Root, 06-16-2017

2. “City of St. Anthony fires Yanez,” Star Tribune, 06-16-2017

3. “Woman Live-Streams After Police Fatally Shoot Boyfriend,’ ABC News, 07-06-2017

4. “EXCLUSIVE: Black Man whose shooting death by police was livestreamed by girlfriend had been pulled over AT LEAST 31 times and hit with 63 traffic charges,” DailyMail, 07-08-2016

5. “Philando Castile’s Mom: ‘I’m Mad As Hell Right Now, Yes I Am!,'” Colorlines, 06-16-2017,


Chip in to our Cathy McMorris Rodgers Retirement Fund!


Join the Resistance!

Washingtonians are FIRED UP over the opportunity to finally kick the extreme conservative Rep. Cathy McMorris Rodgers out of office.

And here’s why: She’s terrible for Washington families.

Cathy McMorris Rodgers Report Card


Will you pitch in before our mid-month deadline tonight to retire Rep. McMorris Rodgers and other eastern Washington Republicans, and elect progressive Democrats for our state’s future?

Here’s how your gift will help us defeat Rep. McMorris Rodgers, special election candidate Jinyoung Lee Englund, and other Republicans up and down the ballot:

  1. We’ll hire organizers and volunteers to mount an aggressive field program
  2. We’ll make sure voters know the stakes — a progressive future for Washington vs. Republicans who will turn back the clock
  3. We’ll invest in outreach to target Democratic voters across the state

We can’t do any of this without you.  Will you pitch in to our Cathy McMorris Rodgers Retirement Fund before midnight and give us the resources to carry out our ambitious plans?


Joe Barden
Development Manager

…1865 54th anniversary Emancipation Proclamation 1919


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JUNETEENTH. On June 19 (“Juneteenth”), 1865, Union general Gordon Granger arrived in Galveston and issued General Order Number 3, which read, “The people of Texas are informed that, in accordance with a proclamation from the Executive of the United States, all slaves are free. This involves an absolute equality of personal rights and rights of property between former masters and slaves, and the connection heretofore existing between them becomes that between employer and hired labor. The freed are advised to remain at their present homes, and work for wages. They are informed that they will not be allowed to collect at military posts; and that they will not be supported in idleness either there or elsewhere.” The tidings of freedom reached the approximately 250,000 slaves in Texas gradually as individual plantation owners informed their slaves over the months following the end of the war. The news elicited an array of personal celebrations, some of which have been described in The Slave Narratives of Texas (1974). The first broader celebrations of Juneteenth were used as political rallies and to teach freed African American about their voting rights. Within a short time, however, Juneteenth was marked by festivities throughout the state, some of which were organized by official Juneteenth committees.

The day has been celebrated through formal thanksgiving ceremonies at which the hymn “Lift Every Voice” furnished the opening. In addition, public entertainment, picnics, and family reunions have often featured dramatic readings, pageants, parades, barbecues, and ball games. Blues festivals have also shaped the Juneteenth remembrance. In Limestone County, celebrants gather for a three-day reunion organized by the Nineteenth of June Organization. Some of the early emancipation festivities were relegated by city authorities to a town’s outskirts; in time, however, black groups collected funds to purchase tracts of land for their celebrations, including Juneteenth. A common name for these sites was Emancipation Park. In Houston, for instance, a deed for a ten-acre site was signed in 1872, and in Austin the Travis County Emancipation Celebration Association acquired land for its Emancipation Park in the early 1900s; the Juneteenth event was later moved to Rosewood Park. In Limestone County the Nineteenth of June Association acquired thirty acres, which has since been reduced to twenty acres by the rising of Lake Mexia.

Particular celebrations of Juneteenth have had unique beginnings or aspects. In the state capital Juneteenth was first celebrated in 1867 under the direction of the Freedmen’s Bureau and became part of the calendar of public events by 1872. Juneteenth in Limestone County has gathered “thousands” to be with families and friends. At one time 30,000 blacks gathered at Booker T. Washington Park, known more popularly as Comanche Crossing, for the event. One of the most important parts of the Limestone celebration is the recollection of family history, both under slavery and since. Another of the state’s memorable celebrations of Juneteenth occurred in Brenham, where large, racially mixed crowds witness the annual promenade through town. In Beeville, black, white, and brown residents have also joined together to commemorate the day with barbecue, picnics, and other festivities.

Juneteenth declined in popularity in the early 1960s, when the civil-rights movement, with its push for integration, diminished interest in the event. In the 1970s African Americans’ renewed interest in celebrating their cultural heritage led to the revitalization of the holiday throughout the state. At the end of the decade Representative Al Edwards, a Democrat from Houston, introduced a bill calling for Juneteenth to become a state holiday. The legislature passed the act in 1979, and Governor William P. Clements, Jr., signed it into law. The first state-sponsored Juneteenth celebration took place in 1980.

Juneteenth has also had an impact outside the state. Black Texans who moved to Louisiana and Oklahoma have taken the celebration with them. In 1991 the Anacostia Museum of the Smithsonian Institution sponsored “Juneteenth ’91, Freedom Revisited,” featuring public speeches, African-American arts and crafts, and other cultural programs. There, as in Texas, the state of its origin, Juneteenth has provided the public the opportunity to recall the milestone in human rights the day represents for African Americans.


Randolph B. Campbell, “The End of Slavery in Texas: A Research Note,” Southwestern Historical Quarterly 88 (July 1984). Gregg Cantrell and Elizabeth Hayes Turner, eds., Lone Star Pasts: Memory and History in Texas (College Station: Texas A&M University Press, 2007). Doris Hollis Pemberton, Juneteenth at Comanche Crossing (Austin: Eakin Press, 1983). Vertical Files, Dolph Briscoe Center for American History, University of Texas at Austin. William H. Wiggins, Jr., O Freedom! Afro-American Emancipation Celebrations (Knoxville: University of Tennessee Press, 1987). David A. Williams, The Emancipation Proclamation of 1863 and the Emancipation Proclamation, Texas Style (June 19, 1865) (Austin: Williams Independent Research Enterprises, 1979).

Teresa Palomo Acosta



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The following, adapted from the Chicago Manual of Style, 15th edition, is the preferred citation for this article.

Handbook of Texas Online, Teresa Palomo Acosta, “Juneteenth,” accessed June 18, 2017,

Uploaded on June 15, 2010. Modified on April 27, 2017. Published by the Texas State Historical Association.