June 19, 2018

Chief says 10 officers hurt in St. Louis protest

17 September 2017, 03:41 | Regina Holmes

Missouri National Guard troops

Missouri National Guard troops

People march downtown after the not guilty verdict was announced Friday in the murder trial of Jason Stockley, a former St. Louis police officer, charged with the 2011 shooting of Anthony Lamar Smith, in St. Louis, Mo.

Washington, Sep 17 (IANS): The Metropolitan Police Department for the midwestern U.S. city of St. Louis said nine of its officers were injured during protests over the acquittal of a white police officer in the 2011 shooting of a black suspect. "As much as we regret having to cancel, we feel it is the only acceptable course of action in the current environment", the statement concluded.

Officers deployed teargas and pepper balls to drive away the unruly crowds throwing bricks and bottles at them, St. Louis Police Chief Lawrence O'Toole said at a press briefing alongside Mayor Mayor Lyda Krewson.

The intensely awaited decision comes days after local activists had promised disruptive protests in the event of an acquittal, and just over three years after protests in Ferguson, Mo. over the shooting of Michael Brown captured national media attention. Police are working 12-hour shifts, starting Friday. "For anyone who protests, please do so peacefully".

Bono has issued a statement regarding the situation in St. Louis after protests in the city in part forced the cancellation of U2's Saturday night concert.

Some protesters held signs that read "Black Lives Matter" and "No more racist killer cops".

In recent years grand juries have declined to charge officers involved in the 2014 fatal shooting of Michael Brown, 18, which set of nights of violent protest in Ferguson, near St Louis, and the choking death of Eric Garner, 43, in NY.

Jason Stockley has claimed to have seen Anthony Lamar Smith's attempt to seize a gun in his auto, but weapon does not appear on images of onboard camera in police vehicle, nor on those taken by a witness on his mobile phone and by surveillance camera of a nearby restaurant.

Police resorted to tear gas and rubber bullets to control the crowd as vandals broke windows at a library, a restaurant and a home.

The former police officer said that he attempted to arrest Smith on suspicion of participating in a possible drug deal when Smith fled the scene. Stockley claimed it was self-defense, that Smith was reaching for a gun.

Those who purchased tickets will receive refunds.

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