Protests, at first peaceful, turn violent by day’s end
2 ST. LOUIS >> Protests turned violent for the second night Saturday in reaction to the acquittal of a white former St. Louis police officer in the fatal shooting of a black man, as a small group of demonstrators refused to disperse, breaking windows and throwing objects at police in riot gear, who eventually moved in and made arrests.
The confrontation took place in the Delmar Loop of the St. Louis suburb of University City — known for concert venues, restaurants, shops and bars and including the famous Blueberry Hill. The area had been the scene of a tense but calm march earlier in the evening that ended with organizers calling for people to leave and reconvene this afternoon.
But a small group of protesters refused to go. Police ordered them to disperse, saying the protest was unlawful. Hundreds of police in riot gear eventually moved in with armored vehicles. The demonstrators retreated down a street, breaking windows and throwing objects at police. Several protesters were seen in handcuffs but the number of arrests was not immediately known. At least one demonstrator was seen being treated after he was hit with pepper spray.
The sudden eruption followed a day of nonviolent demonstrations at suburban shopping malls and during the march in University City.