2nd day of noisy protests of cop’s ac­quit­tal in death

San Francisco Chronicle Late Edition - - NATION - By Jim Salter and Sum­mer Ballentine Jim Salter and Sum­mer Ballentine are Associated Press writ­ers.

ST. LOUIS — Noisy demon­stra­tors dis­rupted shop­ping at up­scale sub­ur­ban malls on Saturday and later marched through a pop­u­lar dis­trict of bars and restau­rants to protest a white St. Louis po­lice of­fi­cer’s ac­quit­tal in the killing of a black man, but the sec­ond day of protests was peace­ful fol­low­ing spo­radic van­dal­ism and vi­o­lence a night ear­lier.

A few hun­dred peo­ple shouted “black lives mat­ter” and “it is our duty to fight for our free­dom” as they marched through West County Cen­ter in Des Peres to de­cry the judge’s ver­dict Fri­day clear­ing ex-Of­fi­cer Ja­son Stock­ley of first-de­gree mur­der in the 2011 shoot­ing of An­thony La­mar Smith. A short time later, a group demon­strated at Ch­ester­field Mall and a re­gional food fes­ti­val. No ar­rests were re­ported.

Hun­dreds of pro­test­ers then gath­ered in the Del­mar Loop of the St. Louis sub­urb of Univer­sity City. Su­sanna Prins, 27, a white woman from the sub­urb, car­ried a sign read­ing, “White si­lence is vi­o­lence.”

The protests fol­lowed rau­cous Fri­day marches in down­town St. Louis and through the city’s Cen­tral West End area dur­ing the night. Nearly three-dozen peo­ple were ar­rested, po­lice said, mostly for fail­ure to dis­perse.

Smith’s death is just one of sev­eral high-pro­file U.S. cases in re­cent years in which a white of­fi­cer killed a black sus­pect, in­clud­ing the 2014 killing of Michael Brown in nearby Fer­gu­son that sparked months of an­gry and some­times vi­o­lent protests.

Fed­eral pros­e­cu­tors said Saturday they won’t open a new civil rights in­ves­ti­ga­tion into the killing, as the NAACP re­quested.

Po­lice were pre­pared for a sec­ond night of protests af­ter Fri­day’s demon­stra­tions led to sev­eral clashes — in­clud­ing ob­jects tossed at of­fi­cers in riot gear — and cul­mi­nated when pro­test­ers broke a win­dow on the home of Mayor Lyda Krew­son. Po­lice even­tu­ally used tear gas to clear the area. Eleven of­fi­cers were in­jured.

An­tic­i­pat­ing more demon­stra­tions, con­certs Saturday by U2 and Sun­day by English singer-song­writer Ed Sheeran were can­celed be­cause the Po­lice Depart­ment said it wouldn’t be able to pro­vide its stan­dard pro­tec­tion.

St. Louis Cir­cuit Judge Ti­mothy Wil­son ruled that pros­e­cu­tors didn’t prove be­yond a rea­son­able doubt that Stock­ley mur­dered Smith or that the of­fi­cer didn’t act in self-de­fense.

Scott Ol­son / Getty Images

Demon­stra­tors march through the West County Cen­ter to protest the ac­quit­tal of for­mer St. Louis po­lice Of­fi­cer Ja­son Stock­ley in the 2011 shoot­ing death An­thony La­mar Smith.

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