St. Louis is not having it. For the second night in a row, protesters took to the streets in righteous anger over yet another acquittal of a police officer charged with first-degree murder in the death of yet another African American.
CNN reports that nine people were arrested on Saturday night and at least 33 people were arrested on Friday night, most of whom were from St. Louis or the surrounding area, according to a police tweet.
A total of 11 law enforcement officers were injured in protests, according to St. Louis Metro Police Department Chief Lawrence O’Toole.
On both nights, the people spilled into the streets, some getting buck by destroying windows of retail shops and throwing rocks at the home of St. Louis Mayor Lyda Krewson.
As The Root’s Michael Harriot notes, the facts of the case are especially galling because the officer said he was going to kill Smith, did so on video, and by all accounts allegedly covered up the murder and got away with it (a gun allegedly attributed to Smith was never seen by any witnesses, and only the officer’s DNA was the firearm recovered.) He writes:
There was an injustice in St. Louis today. After hearing how St. Louis Police Officer Jason Stockley said he was going to kill Anthony Lamar Smith, chased him down and shot him at point-blank range even though Smith was not holding a weapon, Circuit Judge Timothy Wilson pronounced Stockley not guilty and slandered Smith in the process, reasoning that Smith was a dope boy and saying that an “urban heroin dealer not in possession of a firearm would be an anomaly.”
On Saturday, protesters targeted retail stores as well as roads– ensuring that there would be no business as usual on this weekend. They marched through West County Center Mall in Des Peres, Missouri, chanting “No justice, no profits” for about an hour; they also marched through Chesterfield Mall near St. Louis.
— Rebecca Ross (@AStandUpGirl) September 16, 2017
U2 and Ed Sheeran canceled separate concerts for Saturday night in St. Louis saying that police could not provide enough officers as a security detail for the concert. NPR reports that the St. Louis Symphony also canceled Friday and Saturday performances of Harry Potter and the Chamber Of Secrets — In Concert, also citing safety concerns.
On Friday, Smith’s mother went to the site of the deadly shooting.
“(My son) wasn’t wrong. I felt like the verdict was wrong,” Annie Smith told CNN affiliate KTVI. “The judge made the wrong decision. … Justice wasn’t served. I (didn’t) get … justice. I could never be at peace.”
For those who say protests are useless, it should be noted that state and federal authorities did not initially prosecute Stockley, but in the aftermath of the Ferguson protests in the police killing of unarmed teen Mike Brown, then-St. Louis Circuit Attorney Jennifer Joyce charged Stockley with first-degree murder in May 2016, citing new evidence.
Of course, a trial does not mean conviction.
As per usual, the police get off and tax payers get to foot the bill for their homicidal negligence: in 2013, the St. Louis police board settled a wrongful death suit with Smith’s survivors for $900,000.
source: the root