St Louis police shooting protests turn violent again t
Protests turned violent for the second day in reaction to the acquittal of a white former St Louis police officer in the fatal shooting of a black man.
A small group of demonstrators refused to disperse, breaking windows and throwing objects at police, who moved in with armoured vehicles and in riot gear.
The confrontation took place in the Delmar Loop of the St Louis suburb of University City. The area had been the scene of a tense but calm march earlier that ended with organisers calling for people to leave and reconvene today.
But a small group of protesters refused to go. Hundreds of police in riot gear eventually moved in and ordered them to disperse. The demonstrators retreated down a street, breaking windows and throwing objects at police.
Protesters earlier marched through West County Centre Mall, Chesterfield Mall and a regional food festival to decry the judge’s verdict on Saturday
NZT clearing ex-officer Jason Stockley of murder in the 2011 shooting of Anthony Lamar Smith.
Organisers took their grievances to the suburbs to spread the impact of the protests beyond predominantly black neighbourhoods to those that are mainly white.
“I don’t think racism is going to change in America until people get uncomfortable,” said Kayla Reed of the St Louis Action Council, a protest organiser. Susanna Prins, 27, a white woman from University City, carried a sign reading, “White silence is violence”. She said: “Not saying or doing anything makes you complicit in the brutalisation of our friends and neighbours”.
Anticipating more demonstrations, concerts by U2 and Ed Sheeran were cancelled because the police said it wouldn’t be able to provide its standard protection for the events.
Stockley fatally shot Smith, 24, after the suspected drug dealer fled from officers trying to arrest him. Stockley, 36, testified he felt he was in danger because he saw Smith holding a silver revolver when the suspect backed his car towards officers and sped away.
Prosecutors said Stockley planted a gun in Smith’s car after the shooting. The officer’s DNA was on the weapon but Smith’s wasn’t. Dashcam video from Stockley’s cruiser recorded him saying he was “going to kill this (expletive)”. Less than a minute later, he shot Smith five times. — AP
A protester yells as a woman rushes to close the doors to a department store in West County Centre Mall, Des Peres, Missouri. e