St. Louis pro­test­ers march through up­scale sub­urbs

Santa Fe New Mexican - - NATION & WORLD - By Jim Salter and Sum­mer Balen­tine

ST. LOUIS — Noisy demon­stra­tors dis­rupted shop­ping at up­scale subur­ban malls on Satur­day and later marched through a pop­u­lar district of bars and restau­rant to protest a white St. Louis po­lice of­fi­cer’s ac­quit­tal in the killing of a black man, mark­ing a sec­ond day of mostly-peace­ful op­po­si­tion marred by spo­radic in­ci­dents of van­dal­ism and vi­o­lence.

A few hun­dred people shouted slo­gans such as “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 first­de­gree 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 at any of the demon­stra­tions.

As dusk neared, hun­dreds of pro­test­ers gath­ered in the Del­mar Loop of the St. Louis sub­urb of Univer­sity City, known for con­cert venues, restau­rants, shops and bars.

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

Nearly three-dozen people were ar­rested Fri­day, po­lice said, mostly for fail­ure to dis­perse, re­sist­ing and in­ter­fer­ing.

Po­lice said 11 of­fi­cers were in­jured Fri­day, in­clud­ing a bro­ken jaw and dis­lo­cated shoul­der. Five of­fi­cers were taken to hos­pi­tals. Po­lice also said that 10 busi­nesses were dam­aged, mostly bro­ken win­dows.

The civil dis­obe­di­ence fol­lowed the ac­quit­tal of Stock­ley for fa­tally shoot­ing Smith, 24, after the sus­pected drug dealer fled from of­fi­cers try­ing to ar­rest him.

Stock­ley tes­ti­fied he felt he was in dan­ger be­cause he saw Smith hold­ing a sil­ver re­volver when the sus­pect backed his car to­ward 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.

JEFF ROBERSON/THE AS­SO­CI­ATED PRESS

A pro­tester yells as a woman rushes to close the doors to a de­part­ment store Satur­day in Des Peres, Mo., a sub­urb of St. Louis.

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