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14 Oct, 2014 13:05

Youths storm St. Louis City Hall amid nationwide rallies against police brutality

In a fresh action for accountability from the police force, about 100 youths stormed the St. Louis City Hall with banners demanding a civilian review board for all “police shootings” and to stop supplying the force with heavy military equipment.

Another demand had to do with body cameras, so that each encounter between an officer and a suspect can be recorded for future reference.

These events were set in motion after the shooting death of unarmed teenager Michael Brown on August 9, which were followed by months of rioting.

It’s the fourth day of the Ferguson October, which saw hundreds of protesters marching to the suburb’s police station on Monday to protest excessive use of force and police shootings nationwide.

READ MORE: ‘Justice for everyone!’ Thousands stand up against police brutality in Ferguson, St. Louis

Meanwhile in St. Louis, three white 15-foot banners with black letters were displayed by the crowd, stating that “We are the people. We have the power”, “Be accountable or be gone” and “Which side are you on.” They made it as far as the foyer of the City Hall. There was a mix of black and white youths.

Police keeping protesters from getting to second floor where Mayor Slay's office is #FegusonOctober#MoralMondaypic.twitter.com/6JzscCNdsG

— Rebecca Rivas (@Rebeccarivas) October 13, 2014

The leaders of the Ferguson October movement told RT’s Lindsay France that they’re not going to take the pressure off, especially as the grand jury is still out on whether to indict the officer that shot Brown. That process will take another couple of weeks.

Williams talks w Jeff Rainford who says he can take demands to mayor. youth say "we're going to be here for a while" pic.twitter.com/ADQ2qLGbK9

— Rebecca Rivas (@Rebeccarivas) October 13, 2014

One of the leading activists, Kennard Williams, was on the first floor inside the building with a number of protesters, shouting for Mayor Slay to come out and hear their demands. “Mayor Slay, we know you’re up there,” he shouted. Chief of Staff Jeff Rainford came down in the mayor’s place to negotiate. Apparently, the mayor was absent due to ill health.

Williams was then taken to Slay’s office, where he voiced the protesters’ demands, promising that if at least one of them isn’t met in the course of the night the protesters would stay out, according to The St. Louis American.

Rainford had allegedly told the activist that this was not going to happen.

The crowds filled the foyer downstairs, with one man arrested shortly after they’d made their way inside the City Hall building. The police were apparently waiting for anyone to try and make it to the second floor, where they handcuffed him.
“You’re arresting me for holding a banner?” he yelled, as the police led him away. Rainford said he didn’t know why the man was being detained.

Arresting youth for holding banner pic.twitter.com/0XRcCmmTE6

— Rebecca Rivas (@Rebeccarivas) October 13, 2014

The crowd stayed until early evening, but promised to come back to continue on Wednesday to see Slay.