The Latest: Dozens arrested after St. Louis vandalism
ST. LOUIS (AP) — The Latest on protests over the acquittal of a white former St. Louis police officer in the killing of a black suspect (all times local):
Police made dozens of arrests in downtown St. Louis when people ignored orders to disperse after a third night of vandalism that followed largely nonviolent daylight protests.
Police had warned those still on downtown streets late Sunday that they would be arrested if they didn’t leave the area.
Sunday’s protest began at the police headquarters downtown. Following the same pattern of the previous days, well over 1,000 people marched peacefully for several hours in the afternoon and early evening. By nightfall, most had gone home. The 100 or so demonstrators who remained grew increasingly agitated as they marched toward the core of downtown.
Along the way, they began to knock over planters, broke windows at a few shops and hotels, scattered plastic chairs at an outdoor venue.
St. Louis police have at least seven people in custody as crowds angry over the acquittal of a police officer broke windows and damaged property for a third night.
Buses carrying police in full riot gear and shields arrived near the downtown location where police said significant property damage was reported following an hours-long nonviolent protest Sunday afternoon and evening. After protest organizers asked people to disband, some remained behind, as they had the previous two nights.
State Rep. Bruce Franks, who has participated in the protests, said those who are violent and vandalizing “are not protesters,” saying they are part of a group separate from those marching as part of organized demonstrations.
Franks said he was trying to calm the situation.
Police tweeted that a bike officer was taken to a hospital with a non-life-threatening leg injury.
Vandalism has broken out during a third night of protests in St. Louis over the acquittal of a white former police officer in the shooting death of a black suspect.
After more than 1,000 protesters marched downtown for about three hours Sunday afternoon and early evening, organizers announced the demonstration was over. While most left, a few dozen continued to march downtown and eventually started knocking over large potted plants and throwing objects through windows, including those at the Marriott Hotel near the convention center.
St. Louis police said they had reports of significant property damage downtown and officers had arrived to disperse an “unruly crowd.”
At least two people have been taken into custody. It wasn’t clear if there were other arrests.
Several hundred protesters observed six minutes of silence in front of the St. Louis Police Department, then chanted “stop killing us” as officers looked on from headquarters windows.
Protesters said Sunday that the six-minute silence symbolizes the six years between the death of Anthony Lamar Smith and the acquittal of the white former police officer who was charged in the black suspect’s shooting death. The verdict was issued Friday.
During the silence, protest organizer Cori Bush walked slowly with Anne Smith, Anthony Smith’s mother. Bush says everyone makes mistakes, but that Smith did not deserve to die.
Authorities closed off several blocks around the police headquarters Sunday afternoon in anticipation of the demonstration, which followed two days of nonviolent marches and two nights of violent skirmishes that resulted in more than 40 arrests.
Several hundred protesters are silently demonstrating in front of the St. Louis Police Department, beginning a third day of protests over the acquittal of a white former police officer charged in the shooting death of a black suspect.
Authorities closed off several blocks around the police headquarters Sunday afternoon in anticipation of the protests, following two days of nonviolent marches and two nights of violent skirmishes that resulted in more than 40 arrests.
Friday and Saturday protests largely consisted of nonviolent marches in downtown St. Louis, in suburban shopping malls and in the Delmar Loop and Central West End entertainment districts.
University City police said 23 businesses and five police vehicles were damaged in the Loop area Saturday night after things turned violent. The nonviolent group of several hundred had disbanded, then several dozen people gathered and eventually began throwing items, police reported.
Authorities say four of the nine people arrested overnight during protests in the St. Louis suburb of University City will face felony destruction of property charges.
The St. Louis County Police Department said Sunday that among those arrested were two male minors. The other seven ranged in age from 22 to 37 years old.
The other charges protesters face include misdemeanor rioting charges, and one person was charged with assaulting a police officer. Two of those arrested were charged only with failing to disperse.
Protesters destroyed shop windows Saturday night in the Delmar Loop area of University City.
The protests follow Friday’s acquittal of a white former St. Louis police officer in the 2011 killing of a black man following a high-speed chase.
More demonstrations are expected on Sunday.
Missouri Gov. Eric Greitens says protesters arrested for breaking shop windows in the St. Louis suburb of University City overnight and are in jail and will face felony charges.
The Republican governor warned Sunday on Facebook that the authorities will not let property damage go unchecked. There were at least nine arrests during Saturday night’s protest, which followed a day of peaceful demonstrations.
The protesters are angry that a judge on Friday acquitted a white former St. Louis police officer of murder in the 2011 killing of a black man following a high-speed chase.
Organizers of a peaceful march in University City on Saturday called on people to leave and reconvene Sunday afternoon. But a few dozen protesters refused to go, and they smashed windows and threw things at officers as police were advancing on them.
Demonstrators are expected to reconvene near St. Louis on Sunday afternoon for a third day of protests following the acquittal of a white former police officer in the fatal shooting of a black man.
Protests turned violent for a second night late Saturday, as a small group of demonstrators refused to disperse, breaking windows at dozens of businesses and throwing objects at police, who moved in with hundreds of officers in riot gear to make arrests.
The confrontation took place in the Delmar Loop area of University City, a suburb about 10 miles (16 kilometers) west of St. Louis near Washington University. The area is known for concert venues, restaurants, shops and bars and includes the Blueberry Hill club where rock legend Chuck Berry played for many years.
City and county police tweeted that they had arrested at least nine people.
Demonstrators have been protesting a judge’s ruling Friday clearing ex-officer Jason Stockley of first-degree murder in the 2011 shooting of 24-year-old Anthony Lamar Smith.
Protesters smashed the windows of dozens of businesses and threw objects at police near St. Louis in a second night of violence after the acquittal of a white former policeman in the shooting of a black man.
The confrontation took place late Saturday night in the Delmar Loop area of University City, a suburb about 10 miles (16 kilometers) west of St. Louis. The area is known for restaurants, shops and bars.
A few dozen protesters refused to disperse after a non-violent march. Hundreds of police in riot gear moved in. The demonstrators retreated down a street, vandalizing businesses.
City and county police say they made at least nine arrests. At least one demonstrator was treated after he was hit with pepper spray.