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Philando Castile Verdict Draws Hundreds to Rally in Washington Park

As much as Sunday’s rally was a show of solidarity in Chicago for Castile’s family, organizers said, it also was a reminder that the work of activists was far from finished and that the fight must continue.

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Dorothy Holmes was watching the news at her Roseland neighborhood home on Friday, when she learned that a jury had cleared Jeronimo Yanez, the Minnesota police officer who shot and killed 32-year-old Philando Castile during a traffic stop last July in a St. Paul suburb. The shooting was streamed live on Facebook by Castile’s girlfriend.

Like Castile’s mother, Holmes has also watched a video of a Chicago police officer fatally shooting her own son, Ronald Johnson, 25, during a chase in October 2014 in the Washington Park neighborhood.

Dorothy Holmes was watching the news at her Roseland neighborhood home on Friday, when she learned that a jury had cleared Jeronimo Yanez, the Minnesota police officer who shot and killed 32-year-old Philando Castile during a traffic stop last July in a St. Paul suburb. The shooting was streamed live on Facebook by Castile’s girlfriend.

Like Castile’s mother, Holmes has also watched a video of a Chicago police officer fatally shooting her own son, Ronald Johnson, 25, during a chase in October 2014 in the Washington Park neighborhood.

As much as Sunday’s rally was a show of solidarity in Chicago for Castile’s family, organizers said, it also was a reminder that the work of activists was far from finished and that the fight must continue.

“What do we mean when we say we want justice?” Barbara Ransby, a history professor at the University of Illinois at Chicago, asked the crowd.

It wasn’t about the conviction of a single police officer, she said. The road to justice was a long one, and their demands — including ending poverty, prisons and state violence — were much larger than one case.

“We’ve got to think bigger than that,” she said. “We’ve got to dream bigger than that.”