Protesters back in St. Louis streets after night of violence
Protesters angry over the acquittal of ex-police officer Jason Stockley, a white cop on trial for murder in the shooting death of a black man, were back in the streets of downtown St. Louis Monday after demonstrations the previous night turned violent.
More than 120 people were arrested Sunday as protesters attacked police, broke windows and flipped over trash cans, authorities said.
On Monday, peaceful protesters locked arms on Market Street, a few blocks from the site of the previous night’s violence.
Protesters march in St. Louis suburb
Demonstrators marched and chanted near the upscale shopping mall and briefly moved toward an interstate on-ramp, but police blocked the entrance and pushed the protesters back.
“No justice, no profits,” the marchers chanted. “Whose streets? Our streets!”
St. Louis Protests: Everything You Should Know
Protesters and police are once again flooding the streets of St. Louis, Missouri following the acquittal of a white police officer who shot and killed a black suspect in 2011. Judge Timothy Wilson ruled on Friday that Jason Stockley was not guilty of first-degree murder in the shooting death of Anthony Lamar Smith. Protesters, who had been holding vigils in anticipation of the verdict and preparing for the worst for weeks, took to the streets en masse. They were met by police in riot gear armed with military grade technology. Reports of violent arrests, officers using unnecessary force and uncooperative protesters have been steady since the start of the unrest.
On December 20th, 2011, Stockley and his partner, Brian Bianchi, stopped to question Anthony Lamar Smith and another man they suspected of dealing drugs at a North St. Louis Church’s Fried Chicken. As the policemen approached Smith’s Buick, Smith abruptly drove forward into the building before throwing the car in reverse, hitting the police vehicle twice. Stockley testified during trial that he heard Bianchi shout “gun.” Stockley fired several shots at the fleeing car before both men returned to their police car.
The chase lasted three minutes and wound through city streets, with the vehicles travelling at speeds of above 80 miles per hour. Audio and video from the police car is garbled throughout, yet Stockley at one point audibly says “we’re going to kill this motherfucker, don’t you know it.” Smith drove into traffic and Bianchi hit him with the police car, ending the chase.
Even with dashboard camera footage, what followed the chase is not entirely clear. In the video, Stockley and Bianchi are seen approaching the Buick. Stockley appears to have his weapon drawn. He leans into the car to talk to Smith and there seems to be some kind of struggle. Stockley then pulls back and fires several shots into the car. In his testimony, Stockley said he saw Smith turning to his right to grab a gun, causing Stockley to fear for his life. After he died, Smith was found to be in possession of a bag of heroin and a handgun.
St Louis police arrest 307 protesters in 18 days
Members of the St. Louis Metropolitan Police Department prevent protesters from entering Interstate 64 after the not guilty verdict in the murder trial of Jason Stockley, a former St. Louis police officer, charged with the 2011 shooting of Anthony Lamar Smith, who was black, in St. Louis, Missouri, U.S., September 15, 2017. REUTERS/Whitney Curtis