The acquittal of officer Jeronimo Yanez prompted swift reaction across the Twin Cities Friday, sparking disbelief, grief and a sense of apprehension about what the verdict will mean in days to come.

Jurors found Yanez not guilty on all counts in the death of Philando Castile, a 32-year-old black man shot to death by Yanez during a traffic stop last summer. As news of the verdict spread across social media, many black community members and beyond expressed shock and then anger.

“Tonight it’s not about [Philando] Castile not having justice — it’s about all people of color not getting justice,” said Dianne Binns, president of the NAACP’s St. Paul chapter.

Binns joined state and local leaders, pastors and residents at a St. Paul community gathering Friday night, where crisis counselors and an open microphone were on hand for those left reeling from the day’s events.

“Today’s verdict reopens old wounds, on top of the scars from past injustices that make so many Black Americans feel that their lives don’t matter,” U.S. Rep. Keith Ellison, D-Minn., said in a statement.

Gov. Mark Dayton issued a statement calling Castile’s death a “terrible tragedy,” while also nodding to ongoing efforts to improve police-community relations.

“He was just such a great person,” Hamilton said. “He knew everyone’s lunch code. He knew everyone.”

After the verdict Friday, Madelyn Markson brought 10 purple irises to the school where Castile worked, in case his family stopped by.

“I didn’t want them to come here and not see anything,” said Markson, whose daughter went to the school and was in first grade when Castile died.

She left the flowers atop a bench etched with the name of the man students and staff knew as “Mr. Phil.”

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