For the second-straight night, hundreds of protesters in St. Louis clashed with police in the downtown streets.
Some demonstrators blocked roads and hurled objects at police officers in response to a not guilty verdict in the case of a white police officer killing a black suspect.
Watch a live stream of night No. 2 of the St. Louis protests in the video at the top of the page. If the stream at the top of the page ends, check below for news coverage of the protests.
Similar to those that took place Friday night, demonstrations started peaceful but turned violent come nightfall. The St. Louis Police Department said in a tweet Saturday evening that at least 33 people have been injured and 11 law enforcement officers were injured.
Earlier on Saturday, the band U2 cancelled a show in the city because of the unrest.
On Friday, 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 St. Louis Police Department will continue to ensure that our citizens are able to execute their constitutional rights peacefully,” O’Toole said. “Our officers have been very tolerant and used great restraint. However, this evening we’ve had some incidents.”
Among those incidents was a group of people jumping on a St. Louis Police vehicle, smashing its windshield in the process.
Another incident occurred at the St. Louis Public Library, where protesters broke the glass windows and doors of the building.
During one gathering, a group of protesters targeted the home of Krewson. They broke at least two windows and threw red paint on the home before police moved in with riot gear and teargas, The St. Louis Post-Dispatch reported.
The unrest in St. Louis stems from Judge Timothy J. Wilson’s not guilty verdict in a case involving Jason Stockley, a former St. Louis Police officer, and Anthony Lamar Smith.
Stockley and a partner said they saw Smith take part in what they thought was a drug deal in the parking lot of a fast-food restaurant on December 20, 2011. As the officers approached Smith, he fled in his vehicle, nearly clipping Stockley and the other officer, photos from surveillance cameras show. Stockley fired at least one shot at Smith as he led them on a high-speed pursuit.
A police dashcam video shows Stockley saying he’s “going to kill this (expletive), don’t you know it” while in pursuit of Smith.
Watch a video from the police dashcam video below:
Smith’s vehicle eventually slowed, and the officers decided to crash into his vehicle with theirs. Immediately after, Stockley got out of his car and fired five shots at Smith, which killed him. Prosecutors said Stockley planted a gun that was found on Smith afterward. Subsequent testing found Stockley’s DNA on the firearm but not Smiths.
Stockley said he acted in self defense when he shot Smith because he thought he was reaching for a weapon.
Wilson acquitted Stockley on Friday, saying in his ruling that the state failed to prove “beyond a reasonable doubt that Stockley did not act in self-defense.”
“This court, as the trier of fact, is simply not firmly convinced of defendant’s guilt,” Wilson wrote in his verdict. “Agonizingly, this court has poured over the evidence again and again. This court has viewed the video evidence from the restaurant’s surveillance camera, the cameras in the police vehicle, and the cell phone video by the lay witness, over and over again – innumerable times.”
Read the verdict in the court document below:
During Stockley’s trial, prosecutors argued that he intended to kill Smith by firing a “kill shot” and then planting a gun on him after the shooting. An FBI expert testified that at least one shot was fired at Smith from less than 6 inches away, KMOV News reported.
Discuss on Facebook