Protesters smash windows in St. Louis after ex-cop acquitted of black man’s killing (VIDEO, PHOTOS)
Several hundred people remain on the streets of St. Louis and a nearby suburb to marking a second day of protests that were largely peaceful.
Broken windows Delmar Blvd St. Louis.. hear employees who are saying they have to spend the night at the store pic.twitter.com/ASLvaCBJV6— Lucy Biggers (@LLBiggers) 17 сентября 2017 г.
Dozens of windows across the city were smashed and trash cans overturned, forcing police in riot gear to move in and declare the gathering an unlawful assembly.
Starbucks window broken. Leland & Delmar, St. Louis pic.twitter.com/blEs6iHNoG— Lucy Biggers (@LLBiggers) 17 сентября 2017 г.
Officers warned the few remaining small groups in the streets that they may face arrest if they do not disperse.
Officers are at Delmar & Skinker ordering all to disperse following multiple property damages in the Loop. #STLVerdict— St. Louis, MO Police (@SLMPD) 17 сентября 2017 г.
Earlier on Saturday, hundreds of people briefly marched through the upscale West County Mall Center mall in Des Peres Saturday, chanting “shut it down!”. Authorities were taking steps to close the mall before protesters arrived, and many shops had already metal security screens over their store fronts. Unlike Friday, however, there were no reported incidents between protesters and police.
“We don’t want to see property destruction or see people getting hurt,” Elad Gross, a civil rights attorney, told Reuters. “But this is a protest that addresses injustices not only happening here in St Louis but around the country.”
Hundreds protesters converged on West County mall, forcing police to eventually bar people from coming inside pic.twitter.com/lGvOmo3oxR— Christian Gooden (@pd_shutterspeed) September 16, 2017
On Friday, former St. Louis police officer Jason Stockley was acquitted of shooting dead Anthony Lamar Smith, 24, in 2011. Smith was shot five times in his car after being chased by Stockley and his partner on suspicion of being involved in a drug deal. A gun was later found in the car.
Stockley claimed he thought Smith was going to shoot him, but it was only the officer’s DNA was found on the weapon and being heard on an internal police car video saying he was going to kill Smith, which led prosecutors to claim the gun was planted.
Stockley waived his right to a jury trial, allowing Circuit Judge Timothy Wilson to consider the verdict instead. In his ruling, Judge Wilson wrote that he was “not convinced” of Stockley’s guilt.
After the verdict was read out, around 600 people marched from the courthouse to center of St Louis, some waving Black Lives Matter placards. Some of the demonstrators started breaking windows and hurling bricks and bottles at police, and in the resulting chaos nine officers were injured and 23 protesters arrested.