St. Louis protesters surround mayor’s house, some vandalism

Nine police officers reported injured after former cop’s acquittal in shooting death of a black man

Associated Press

ST. LOUIS — About 1,000 protesters surrounded the home of St. Louis Mayor Lyda Krewson End late Friday, breaking at least two windows and throwing red paint at the brick house before about 200 police officers in to break them up.

There was no indication that Krewson was in the home at the time.

Nine police officers were reported injured, including one with a dislocated shoulder and one with a possible broken jaw, Acting Police Chief Lawrence O’Toole said shortly after midnight Saturday, appearing with Krewson in a video. A Highway Patrol trooper was also reported injured.

Two of the city police officers were injured by thrown bricks, police said. They were taken to a hospital, with one officer’s injuries described as “serious.” A third officer was hurt but declined treatment.

Police spokeswoman Schron Jackson said early Saturday that police arrested 32 people Friday.

Mostly peaceful protests after the acquittal of former police Officer Jason Stockley in the shooting death of a black man turned violent after dark, as police officers responded to several locations throughout the city’s Central West End.

“Many of the demonstrators were peaceful,” O’Toole said. “However, after dark, many agitators began to destroy property and assault police officers.”

Several restaurants and a St. Louis Public Library branch were also damaged. O’Toole said officers fired pepper pellets and tear gas to dispel crowds.

“Orders to disperse were given numerous times,” O’Toole said. “Tear gas was deployed after officers were assaulted with bricks and bottles. Officers did deploy pepper balls as a less-than-lethal option after agitators continued to assault officers with objects and destroy property.”

Krewson did not speak about the apparent damage to her home, but thanked police and those watching the video.

After the large group of protesters was able to march unimpeded to Krewson’s home, gather on the lawn and knock on the door — a process that took about 30 minutes — the first police officers finally arrived and began pushing them back, firing canisters of tear gas.

During that confrontation, some protesters were holed up at the Central Reform Congregation synagogue. It was near there that the officers were hit with bricks.

Windows were shattered at multiple Central West End buildings, including a restaurant and a library.

Earlier, police pepper-sprayed demonstrators Friday afternoon as they declared the ongoing protest as “no longer peaceful”.

By early evening, protesters had moved from downtown and gathered in the Central West End. They filled the streets there as they marched through the neighborhood, their number growing to what appeared to be more than 1,000. At one point, they tried to enter Forest Park but were stopped by police. By nightfall, protesters were marching south some chanting: “If you kill our kids, we kill your economy!”

Stockley, who is white, was charged with murder in the 2011 shooting death of black drug suspect Anthony Lamar Smith. His acquittal in a bench trial Friday sparked the protests downtown and in the Central West End.

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