Army of protesters, some flashing guns, swarm St. Louis, trash mayor’s home, injure cops, in night of rage

(AP Photo/Jeff Roberson)

St. Louis, Missouri braced itself for protests following the verdict on the Stockley trial, in which police officer Jason Stockley was found not guilty for shooting and killing a black man after a car chase.

But the demonstrations Friday night were more violent than city officials had anticipated–reaching the home of Democratic Mayor Lyda Krewson. Nearly 1,000 agitators surrounded Krewson’s home, smashing windows and smearing the house with red paint.

A unit of 200 policeman arrived on the scene to disperse the crowd. Agitators threw bricks and bottles at law enforcement officers, injuring 10 officers. At least 13 protesters were arrested.

Demonstrations against the ruling began late Friday after Stockley’s acquittal was announced earlier in the day. Mayor Krewson had designated a specific protest area at Tucker and Market. City officials praised the conduct of protesters, who initially remained peaceful.

But the crowd became violent after nightfall. Agitators moved beyond the designated and began walking through downtown St. Louis.They shattered the windows of several businesses and the public library.

Several of the agitators were seen openly carrying rifles.

Eventually, the crowd of nearly 1,000 made it to the home of Mayor Lyda Krewson.

Vandals threw red paint onto Krewson’s home and broke windows.

At one point, the protesters were able to walk up to the mayor’s front door. It is not known whether Krewson was at home at the time of the protests.

When police arrived on the scene, they ordered the crowd to disperse.

But agitators resisted leaving the scene, hurling bricks and bottles.

Multiple police were stricken down by the heavy objects and taken to the hospital.

In response, law enforcement used tear gas and other crowd control equipment to break up the group.

Agitators fled. Some were seen shooting firecrackers at reporters on the scene.

Interim Police Chief Lawrence O’Toole published a video statement with Mayor Krewson to condemn the violence and urge peaceful protest, seen below.

According to O’Toole, nine St. Louis police officers and one Missouri State Patrol were hurt. Injuries included broken jaws and dislocated shoulders. Multiple arrests were made, with the specific number rising as police process the individuals detained.

Krewson, who was not injured in the chaotic protests, called the violence “unacceptable.”

Protesters argued that slain black man Anthony Lamar Smith was innocent. He was shot after leading police on a car chase. Smith had backed into the police’s vehicle to get away when they attempted to detain him as part of a drug investigation.

Jason Stockley claims he shot Smith when the latter reached for a gun. A fire arm was found in his car. It was later discovered that Smith had a criminal record, which included guns and drugs.

ST. LOUIS, MO – SEPTEMBER 15: A man yells at a law enforcement officer during a protest action following a not guilty verdict on September 15, 2017 in St. Louis, Missouri. Protests erupted today following the acquittal of former St. Louis police officer Jason Stockley, who was charged with first-degree murder last year in the shooting death of motorist Anthony Lamar Smith in 2011. (Photo by Michael B. Thomas/Getty Images)


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