Ed Sheeran, U2 can­cel St. Louis shows

Times Colonist - - Arts -

ST. LOUIS, Missouri — A sec­ond ma­jor act can­celled a con­cert in down­town St. Louis in the wake of protests over the ac­quit­tal of a white for­mer po­lice of­fi­cer charged in the killing of an un­armed black man.

Bri­tish singer-song­writer Ed Sheeran’s sold-out show tonight at the Scot­trade Cen­ter was can­celled for the same rea­son cited ear­lier Satur­day by U2 when the band can­celled a Satur­day night per­for­mance: Po­lice said they could not guar­an­tee the typ­i­cal level of se­cu­rity as the city faces on­go­ing protests.

Hun­dreds protested Fri­day and Satur­day in down­town St. Louis and in well-to-do sub­urbs. More protests were ex­pected Satur­day night.

U2 said on its web­site that it couldn’t risk the safety of fans. The site out­lined plans for re­funds.

The protests come af­ter a judge found for­mer St. Louis po­lice of­fi­cer Ja­son Stock­ley, who is white, not guilty of first-de­gree mur­der in the De­cem­ber 2011 shoot­ing of An­thony La­mar Smith.

Smith, 24, fled from Stock­ley in a brief high-speed chase. Once it ended, Stock­ley fired into Smith’s car and killed him. Stock­ley said he be­lieved Smith was armed. A gun was dis­cov­ered in Smith’s car, but pros­e­cu­tors ar­gued that the of­fi­cers had put it there.

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