Civil unrest in St. Louis over former police officer Jason Stockley’s acquittal in the shooting death of Anthony Lamar Smith continue after a weekend that saw more than 80 individuals arrested.
While many around the U.S. tuned into the 69th Annual Primetime Emmy Awards, others were galvanized to the streets in the name of Smith, 24, who was shot five times through the window of his car by the ex-St. Louis cop (acquitted of first-degree murder), six years ago.
According to NPR, hundreds of peaceful protesters gathered at police headquarters and marched through city streets, before taking a more aggressive approach when it was longer daylight.
“The vast majority of protesters are nonviolent but for the third day in a row the days have been calm and the nights have been destructive,” St. Louis Mayor Lyda Krewson said in a briefing concerning those who broke windows and destroyed property.
A Twitter user behind the handle @Rebelutionary_Z, who has been live-streaming the protests, reportedly advised that late-night demonstrators on Sunday (Sept. 17) were cornered by law enforcement in riot gear and sprayed with a chemical agent “for no … reason,” and then handcuffed and hauled away.
“We are completely trapped,” he says near the end of a 45-minute video clip.
“The police own tonight,” said St. Louis interim Police Chief Larry O’Toole, who also claimed that “some criminals assaulted law enforcement officers and threw chemicals and rocks at them.”
To appropriately quote the late Martin Luther King, Jr.: “A riot is the language of the unheard.” Protesters, thusly, have promised multiple demonstrations every day for the next few weeks.