Political News

The Latest: Chief says 10 officers hurt in St. Louis protest

Posted September 16

Protesters gather outside of the courthouse, Friday, Sept. 15, 2017, in downtown St. Louis, after a judge found a white former St. Louis police officer, Jason Stockley, not guilty of first-degree murder in the death of a black man, Anthony Lamar Smith, who was fatally shot following a high-speed chase in 2011. (AP Photo/Jeff Roberson)

— The Latest on acquittal of a white former police officer in the shooting death of a black man in St. Louis (all times local):

1:25 a.m.

Ten law enforcement officers have been injured during protests in St. Louis after a judge acquitted a white former police officer in the shooting death of a black man.

St. Louis interim police Chief Lawrence O'Toole says nine city officers were hurt Friday and one State Highway Patrol officer. One city officer suffered a broken jaw and another a dislocated shoulder.

O'Toole says 23 arrests were made before 6 p.m. He didn't yet know the total number of arrests that occurred after that time.

Police said earlier that two officers were injured when bricks were thrown.

The protests were in reaction to former officer Jason Stockley being found not guilty of first-degree murder Friday in the 2011 death of Anthony Lamar Smith.

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11:15 p.m.

St. Louis police say two officers have been taken to the hospital with injuries sustained from thrown bricks during protests in the Central West End district of St. Louis.

The department announced in a tweet that one officer had a serious injury from a brick thrown at Kingshighway and Waterman, then five minutes later said a second was headed to the hospital as well. No other information was immediately released.

Peaceful protests Friday turned violent when protesters broke a window and splattered paint on Mayor Lyda Krewson's house. Police in riot gear responded, moved the crowd away from the house and eventually broke up the group with tear gas. Later, at least two armored vehicles were deployed.

The protests began Friday morning after a white former St. Louis officer was found not guilty of first-degree murder in the shooting death of a black suspect.

10:35 p.m.

Protesters have broken a front window and splattered red paint at St. Louis Mayor Lyda Krewson's home, and police have responded in force, using tear gas to disperse the crowd.

Several hundred chanting protesters marched to the house Friday night following the earlier acquittal of a former police officer in a 2011 shooting death. Two rang the doorbell but no one responded.

After the window was broken, police in bullet-proof vests and helmets arrived and demanded that the protesters get off the lawn and out of the street in front of the house.

Several dozen more officers with shields and full riot gear later arrived and forced the protesters down the street toward another equally large group of police in full riot gear. One man resisted and was arrested.

Shortly before the window was broken one of the protesters said over a bullhorn, "we think we have the right house."

The protests began Friday morning after a white former St. Louis officer was found not guilty of first-degree murder in the shooting death of a black suspect.

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9:55 p.m.

Former St. Louis police officer Jason Stockley says he understands how the video of him fatally shooting Anthony Lamar Smith after a car chase in 2011 looks bad to investigators and the public, but he said the optics have to be separated from the facts and he did nothing wrong.

Stockley, who is white, was found not guilty of first-degree murder in the death of Smith, who was black. The ruling Friday sparked hundreds of people to protest in St. Louis. Stockley told the St. Louis Post-Dispatch that the burden of having to kill someone never totally lifts.

Stockley said he's concerned for first responders and protesters and doesn't want to see anyone hurt over the ruling. He said he "can feel for" and "understand" what Smith's family is facing, but that he's not to blame.

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9:15 p.m.

Hundreds of protesters continue to march in the upscale Central West End section of St. Louis, chanting and carrying signs with anti-police slogans and "Black Lives Matter" on them.

After attempting to march onto Interstate 64 Friday night but being thwarted by police who had blocked the path, the group marched back to a commercial intersection and staged a sit-in for about 20 minutes. The group was silent for some minutes, with the only noise being the sound of a news helicopter overhead.

The group later began marching down Euclid Avenue in an area with restaurants, bars and shops. A protester threw a rock through a restaurant window. Another group of protesters burned an American flag as other demonstrators cheered. In another instance, a man began to burn a flag and other protesters made him stop.

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7:45 p.m.

Protesters have moved to the upscale Central West End section of St. Louis, where a large group is marching through streets chanting as people look on from restaurants and the windows of hospitals lining busy Kingshighway.

The group is attempting to march onto Interstate 64 via a nearby entrance, but a large contingent of police is blocking the path.

The trendy neighborhood includes Missouri's largest hospital, Barnes-Jewish, along with the Washington University Medical School, St. Louis Children's Hospital and dozens of tech firms.

Police have blocked the entrance to nearby Forest Park to prevent protesters from disrupting an event that's part of the Great Forest Park Balloon Race.

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7:20 p.m.

Some journalists covering demonstrations in downtown St. Louis over a former police officer's acquittal in a 2011 shooting say they have been the targets of threats and violence from protesters.

A freelance videographer for The Associated Press said a protester approached him Friday, took his camera and threw it to the ground, breaking the view finder. Later in the day while he was using a different camera, he said he was surrounded by six men who told him to put the camera away or he'd be beaten.

Also Friday, a reporter for KTVI in St. Louis reported that a protester taunted him about the media, drawing a crowd. The reporter described the group as being angry and in his face, and said three water bottles were thrown at him.

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6:50 p.m.

St. Louis police say they have made 13 arrests and that four officers have been injured in protests following the not-guilty verdict of a former white police officer charged with murder in the death of a black suspect.

St. Louis interim police Chief Lawrence O'Toole told reporters that none of the officers injured Friday was hospitalized. One had an injured hand, one was hit by a bike, one was pinned by a bike, and one was struck by a water bottle.

Police spokeswoman Schron Jackson said she didn't know if protesters were injured but she was not aware of any reports of demonstrators being hospitalized.

Both O'Toole and Mayor Lyda Krewson said they were proud of police for showing restraint.

Hundreds of protesters are marching through city streets after a judge acquitted former St. Louis officer Jason Stockley.

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5:40 p.m.

St. Louis police are saying they no longer consider a protest at a downtown intersection peaceful and they're asking that demonstrators leave the area.

Protesters had surrounded a police vehicle in front of the old police building near Tucker Boulevard and Clark Avenue and were damaging it with rocks. Police approached and tried to secure the vehicle and protesters threw rocks and pieces of curbing at them. Police then used pepper spray on the protesters.

In a tweet, the police department said the protesters were ignoring commands and violating the law and were subject to arrest.

Hundreds of protesters are marching through city streets after a judge announced Friday that white former St. Louis police officer Jason Stockley was not guilty of first-degree murder in the 2011 death of 24-year-old Anthony Lamar Smith, a black suspect.

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5:10 p.m.

Hundreds of protesters are marching through the streets of St. Louis after a white police officer was acquitted in the death of a black man.

It's a diverse crowd that includes people of various races and ages. Lawmakers and ministers are among those who've joined the protesters.

Some of the protesters are openly carrying rifles, which is legal in Missouri. There have been no reports of any weapons being fired.

Many protesters are carrying "Black Lives Matter" signs.

The crowd swelled throughout the day after a judge announced Friday morning that white former St. Louis police officer Jason Stockley was not guilty of first-degree murder in the 2011 death of 24-year-old Anthony Lamar Smith.

A variety of events have been canceled because of the protests, including some high school sports and a performance by the St. Louis symphony.

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2:50 p.m.

A Democratic state lawmaker from St. Louis has joined protesters after a white police officer was acquitted in the death of a black man.

Peter Merideth says from what he's seen, "the protesters have been largely absolutely nonviolent."

The protests came after a judge announced Friday that white former St. Louis police officer Jason Stockley was not guilty of first-degree murder in the 2011 death of 24-year-old Anthony Lamar Smith.

Merideth is white. He said, "It's important for there to be white leaders standing here, not for our voices to be heard, but just to show support for the voices that need to be heard."

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2:40 p.m.

Protesters say law enforcement officials have used pepper spray as the two sides face off in downtown St. Louis.

Hundreds of protesters are marching through city streets after a judge announced Friday that white former St. Louis police officer Jason Stockley was not guilty of first-degree murder in the 2011 death of 24-year-old Anthony Lamar Smith, a black suspect.

At one point, a group of the protesters stood in front of a city bus filled with officers in riot gear, blocking it from moving forward. The bus backed up and protesters again tried to stop it, with a few throwing water bottles. The bus moved less than a block before police in riot gear began pushing back the crowd.

As protesters resisted, two women told The Associated Press that police used pepper spray. Both women's faces had been doused with milk, which is used to counter the effects of pepper spray.

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2:30 p.m.

The head of the NAACP St. Louis is asking President Donald Trump and the U.S. Justice Department to immediately review the acquittal of a white St. Louis police officer in the shooting death of a black man.

St. Louis Public Radio reports that in a letter sent Friday, St. Louis NAACP president Adolphus Pruitt said the Justice Department needed to give immediate attention to the case "to get to the truth of what happened and to ensure that justice has been served."

A judge on Friday found Jason Stockley not guilty of first-degree murder in the 2011 death of 24-year-old Anthony Lamar Smith.

Pruitt says the community has lost faith in local authorities to fairly handle such cases. He cited the remarks from Albert Watkins, the attorney for Smith's fiancee. Watkins said ruling was "appallingly contrary" to evidence in the case.

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1:40 p.m.

Dozens of protesters are facing off with police in riot gear in downtown St. Louis after blocking a bus filled with officers.

The protests come after a judge announced Friday that Jason Stockley was not guilty of first-degree murder in the 2011 death of 24-year-old Anthony Lamar Smith.

Hundreds of protesters are marching through city streets.

A smaller group stood in front of a city bus filled with officers in riot gear, blocking it from moving forward. The bus backed up and protesters again tried to stop it, with a few throwing water bottles. The bus moved less than a block before police in riot gear began pushing back the crowd.

Stockley shot 24-year-old Anthony Lamar Smith five times after a high-speed chase. Prosecutors alleged Stockley planted a gun in Smith's car after he shot him.

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1:30 p.m.

One man has been arrested during protests in St. Louis that followed the acquittal of a former white police officer who killed a black suspect.

St. Louis police say a man was arrested Friday for damaging a police vehicle as protesters marched down a St. Louis street. The suspect's name has not been released.

A judge announced Friday that Jason Stockley was not guilty of first-degree murder in the 2011 death of 24-year-old Anthony Lamar Smith. The verdict led to immediate protests in the streets of downtown St. Louis.

Hundreds of protesters blocked streets, marched and tried unsuccessfully to walk onto Interstate 64, where they were blocked from entering the highway by police.

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11:45 a.m.

Several businesses and schools in or near downtown St. Louis closed early after a judge's verdict acquitting a white police officer in the death of black motorist was announced.

Wells Fargo Advisors, brokerage and investment firm Stifel and Nestle Purina PetCare all sent thousands of employees home Friday after a judge acquitted former officer Jason Stockley in the death of 24-year-old Anthony Lamar Smith.

Activists were gathering downtown to protest the verdict and officials were concerned about the potential for unrest.

Several schools also closed early and postponed events scheduled for Friday.

And an Alzheimer's Walk scheduled for Saturday in downtown St. Louis was postponed.

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11:30 a.m.

The attorney for the family of the black man shot and killed by a white St. Louis police officer says they disagree with a judge's ruling that the state didn't meet its burden of proof for a finding that the officer was guilty of murder.

KMOV reports that Al Watkins spoke to reporters less than an hour after the judge's Friday morning ruling that 36-year-old Jason Stockley was not guilty in the 2011 death of 24-year-old Anthony Lamar Smith.

Watkins says he found the ruling appalling and contrary to the evidence presented.

Watkins and Smith's fiancee, Christina Wilson, on Thursday appealed for calm and non-violent protest no matter what verdict was issued.

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11:10 a.m.

U.S. Rep. William Lacy Clay of Missouri says he's outraged by a judge's verdict acquitting a white St. Louis police officer in the shooting death of a black man.

Clay is a Democrat who represents the St. Louis area. He said in a statement Friday that former officer Jason Stockley violated several police department regulations and showed a "total disregard" for Anthony Lamar Smith. He says justice has been "cruelly denied" for Smith, his family and the community.

Democratic Sen. Claire McCaskill and Republican Sen. Roy Blunt of Missouri both issued statements Friday expressing hope that people will come together to avoid the divisions that occurred after a white police officer killed 18-year-old Michael Brown in Ferguson in 2014.

And Missouri Gov. Eric Greitens acknowledged the verdict causes pain for many people but asked those who choose to protest the verdict to do so peacefully.

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10:45 a.m.

A St. Louis activist says he's disappointed but not surprised by the acquittal of a white former police officer in the shooting death of a black man.

A judge on Friday found 36-year-old Jason Stockley not guilty in the 2011 death of 24-year-old Anthony Lamar Smith. Several hundred protesters were marching in the streets of downtown St. Louis within hours of the verdict being released.

Among the protesters was the Rev. Clinton Stancil, who is black. He's a pastor at Wayman AME Church in St. Louis. He says, "Cops again are able to shoot our people down with impunity."

Stockley shot 24-year-old Anthony Lamar Smith five times after a high-speed chase. Prosecutors alleged Stockley planted a gun in Smith's car after he shot him.

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10:30 a.m.

About 100 people have gathered in downtown St. Louis to protest the acquittal of a white former police officer in the shooting death of a black man.

A judge on Friday found 36-year-old Jason Stockley not guilty in the 2011 death of 24-year-old Anthony Lamar Smith. Protesters began gathering near the courthouse where the case was heard and were marching in the streets. Police have blocked off some streets. At one point, protesters headed toward an interstate ramp, but police blocked them from getting on.

St. Louis Mayor Lyda Krewson says she hopes city residents will come together despite their differences over the acquittal.

Stockley shot 24-year-old Anthony Lamar Smith five times after a high-speed chase. Prosecutors alleged Stockley planted a gun in Smith's car after he shot him.

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10:15 a.m.

St. Louis Mayor Lyda Krewson says she hopes city residents will come together despite their differences over the acquittal of a white former police officer in the shooting death of a black man.

Krewson says in a statement early Friday that she's praying for the loved ones of 24-year-old Anthony Lamar Smith, who was shot to death in 2011. She also offers prayers for police, the judge who issued the verdict and "citizens who find no comfort, or justice."

The mayor encouraged St. Louis residents to show each other compassion and recognize that they all "rise and fall together."

The statement comes as protesters increased near the courthouse in downtown St. Louis where the verdict was announced. Police were blocking streets near the courthouse so protesters could march.

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9:55 a.m.

St. Louis interim police chief Lawrence O'Toole is asking that people upset with the acquittal of a white former St. Louis police officer in the shooting death of a black man demonstrate peacefully.

In a statement released shortly after the acquittal of former officer Jason Stockley was announced Friday, O'Toole says the department understands that emotions are running high but that the judge's verdict should be respected.

Stockley shot 24-year-old Anthony Lamar Smith five times after a high-speed chase in 2011.

O'Toole says his department's top priority is protecting and serving citizens. He says the department is committed to protecting free speech rights but is also committed to upholding the city's laws.

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9:40 a.m.

About a dozen protesters have gathered near the Carnahan Courthouse in downtown St. Louis after a judge acquitted a white former St. Louis police officer of first-degree murder in the shooting death of a black man following a 2011 chase.

Protesters are shouting that the Friday verdict is unfair and that they want justice.

Circuit Judge Timothy Wilson issued his ruling against 36-year-old Jason Stockley. Stockley could have been sentenced to up to life in prison without parole had he been convicted.

Stockley shot 24-year-old Anthony Lamar Smith five times after a high-speed chase. Stockley says he saw Smith holding a gun before the chase began, and that he felt he was in imminent danger.

Prosecutors alleged Stockley planted a gun in Smith's car after he shot him.

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9 a.m.

A judge has acquitted a white former St. Louis police officer of first-degree murder in the shooting death of a black man following a high-speed chase in 2011.

Circuit Judge Timothy Wilson issued his ruling Friday against 36-year-old Jason Stockley. Stockley could have been sentenced to up to life in prison without parole had he been convicted.

Stockley shot 24-year-old Anthony Lamar Smith five times after a high-speed chase. Stockley says he saw Smith holding a gun before the chase began, and that he felt he was in imminent danger when he opened fire.

Prosecutors alleged that Stockley planted a gun in Smith's car after he shot him. A gun in the car had the officer's DNA on it, but not Smith's.

Stockley left the police force in 2013 and moved to Houston.

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8 a.m.

Preparations for possible protests are set in St. Louis, where a judge may rule Friday in the murder trial of a white former police officer who fatally shot a black suspect.

Jason Stockley's first-degree murder trial concluded Aug. 9 and St. Louis has been on edge awaiting Judge Timothy Wilson's ruling.

Stockley testified he shot Anthony Lamar Smith in 2011 because he thought the drug suspect was reaching for a gun. Prosecutors say Stockley planted the weapon.

Media reports and preparation announcements from officials indicate that Wilson may rule Friday. Gov. Eric Greitens has the National Guard on standby. Police are working 12-hour shifts, starting Friday. All downtown courthouses will be closed, including the federal courthouse, in anticipation of the verdict.

Greitens and Mayor Lyda Krewson are urging calm. Also asking for peace is Smith's fiancée, Christina Wilson.

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5 Comments

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  • Kristen Ford-Newell Sep 16, 3:04 p.m.
    user avatar

    I think the police should protect themselves in these riots a little more than they do...the protesters don't care about who they hurt or what property they damage... which of course make their protests a joke...so protect yourself if you fear your life or that of another is in a life threatening situation.

  • Jerry Sawyer Sep 16, 8:48 a.m.
    user avatar

    They want to be like Durham, but they have a long way to go. God help us.

  • NC Tom Sep 16, 8:32 a.m.
    user avatar

    That time of day people should be at work. Oh wait

  • Robert Miller Sep 16, 7:11 a.m.
    user avatar

    Whether this 'former white' police officer is truly innocent or truly guilty doesn't matter....these folks just looking for a reason to 'protest'. The guy could be as innocent as innocent can be and they'd still be out there doing what they're doing.

  • Maria Izcidor Sep 16, 6:36 a.m.
    user avatar

    Here we go again!!! Black lives matter. What about ALL LIVES MATTER!!! We all live in a time where we either robbing someone or being robbed ourselves, killing someone or gething killed ourselves, selling drugs, or dying of drug overdose.God put all of us on earth to live. We don't never know how we are going to die. Sometimes we are in the wrong place at the wrong time.But if you have your life prepared for any given time than be thankful because up there has got to be way better than the hell we live in on earth. Sleep with one eye open and one eye closed. Have to carry a weapon to protect our family.Sleep with a weapon. Through it all God is my weapon. Marching,Chanting, and Violence isn't going to get you nothing but some tired legs,sore throats,and loss of voices and we need that so when we end of at the big house we have a voice to call somebody to bring us some hard earned money to give to the white men that you all are out there fighting against.Pray our God will do the rest