St. Louis braces for more protests over cop’s ac­quit­tal

New Haven Register (New Haven, CT) - - OBITUARIES - By Jim Sal­ter As­so­ci­ated Press

ST. LOUIS » Hun­dreds of peo­ple protest­ing the ac­quit­tal of a white for­mer St. Louis po­lice of­fi­cer in the fa­tal shoot­ing of black man marched for hours in mostly peace­ful demon­stra­tions, un­til a bro­ken win­dow at the mayor’s home and es­ca­lat­ing ten­sions led riot po­lice to lob tear gas to dis­perse the crowds.

For weeks, ac­tivists had been threat­en­ing civil dis­obe­di­ence if Ja­son Stock­ley were not con­victed of mur­der for killing An­thony La­mar Smith, prompt­ing author­i­ties to take pre­cau­tions. With the large protests that fol­lowed the 2014 killing of Michael Brown in nearby Fer­gu­son still fresh in ev­ery­one’s minds, bar­ri­cades were erected around po­lice head­quar­ters and the court­house, among other sites, in an­tic­i­pa­tion of the ver­dict.

Within hours of St. Louis Cir­cuit Judge Ti­mothy Wil­son ac­quit­ting Stock­ley of first-de­gree mur­der, a racially di­verse crowd of pro­test­ers took to the streets — some le­gally car­ry­ing weapons and others tot­ing chil­dren and wav­ing posters.

More than 20 ar­rests were made by early evening, and some pro­test­ers were pep­per-sprayed dur­ing con­fronta­tions with author­i­ties. St. Louis po­lice re­ported that 10 of­fi­cers had suf­fered in­juries by the end of the night, in­clud­ing a bro­ken jaw and dis­lo­cated shoul­der, and some jour­nal­ists re­ported be­ing threat­ened by pro­test­ers.

Ac­tivists said they would meet again Satur­day to plan fur­ther demon­stra­tions. The band U2 can­celed its Satur­day night con­cert in St. Louis be­cause the po­lice depart­ment said it wouldn’t be able to pro­vide its stan­dard pro­tec­tion for the event, or­ga­niz­ers said.

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