Sept. 17 (UPI) — Nine people were arrested overnight Saturday, and 23 businesses and five police vehicles damaged during the second night of protests near St. Louis after the acquittal of a white former police officer in the fatal shooting of a black man.
On Sunday afternoon, demonstrators planned a “die in” at the police headquarters downtown.
Around 11 p.m. Saturday after hours of peaceful protests, people threw rocks, bricks, garbage can lids, water bottles filled with paint thinner or gasoline, and balloons filled with red liquid in suburban University City, home to Washington University, about 10 miles from St. Louis.
“UCity PD requested assistance Saturday after peaceful protest turned violent when debris was thrown at officers,” county police posted on Twitter early Sunday.
On Friday, 33 were arrested arrested and 11 police officers injured in two St. Louis neighborhoods.
At about 9 p.m. Saturday, organizers announced there were no arrests and the crowd dispersed.
Then, one hour later, a smaller, separate crowd gathered.
“Saturday night, some criminals decided to pick up rocks and break windows,” Missouri Gov. Eric Greitens said in a statement. “They thought they’d get away with it. They were wrong. Our officers caught ’em, cuffed ’em, and threw ’em in jail.
“In the past, our leaders let people break windows, loot, start fires. They let them do it. Not this time. Tonight, the police arrested the vandals. At this moment, they’re all sitting in a jail cell. They’re gonna wake up and face felony charges.
“These aren’t protestors, these are criminals.”
On Friday, Judge Timothy Wilson ruled former St. Louis Metropolitan police officer Jason Stockley acted in self-defense in the 2011 shooting of Anthony Lamar Smith, 24, during a high-speed car chase. He was charged with first-degree murder.
Ed Sheeran canceled his sold-out concert at St. Louis’ Scottrade Center on Sunday night due to safety concerns stemming from the protests in the city.
“With the safety of the fans being of upmost concern, and after consulting with local officials, who could not fully commit to providing a sufficient amount of police and other city services support, we felt it was in everyone’s best interest to cancel Sunday night’s show,” Messing Touring Group said in a statement.
“While we regret to have had to come to this decision, we do look forward to returning to St. Louis as soon as Ed’s schedule will allow in 2018.
On Saturday, U2 canceled a Saturday night show at Dome at America’s Center.
“We cannot in good conscience risk our fans’ safety by proceeding with tonight’s concert. As much as we regret having to cancel, we feel it is the only acceptable course of action in the current environment,” the band and Live Nation said in a statement.
Bono wrote on Instagram, “Deeply saddened at what has happened in St. Louis and having to cancel our show tonight. I found myself reading Dr. [Martin Luther] King’s speech from the National Cathedral and asking myself is this 1968 or 2017?”