ST. LOUIS – The Latest on the unrest in St. Louis following the acquittal of a former police officer in the death of a black man (all times local):
St. Louis police are defending their actions in arresting and using pepper spray on demonstrators in a protest near Busch Stadium.
Three people were arrested Friday night, including the Rev. Darryl Gray, a protest leader who says he was only intervening when an officer grabbed a female pastor. The protest was among several since a judge ruled in mid-September that former police officer Jason Stockley was not guilty of first-degree murder in the death of a black suspect.
Police spokeswoman Schron Jackson says police deploy tactics “when criminal activity arises,” with escalation depending on the level of aggression. She says pepper spray is used when deemed necessary to “protect life and property.”
Jackson says a stun gun also was used on one protester who resisted arrest.
Protest leaders in St. Louis say the arrest of a clergyman who was taken to the ground and subdued with pepper spray is the latest incident in which police have been responsible for “unnecessary and dangerous violence” against demonstrators.
About 20 faith leaders and other protest organizers gathered Monday at Wayman AME Church to pledge that law-abiding but disruptive demonstrations will continue. They also allege that police have too often become violent with protesters.
The Rev. Darryl Gray of the Missouri Baptist State Convention was arrested Friday night near Busch Stadium. The protest was among many since a judge last month acquitted former police officer Jason Stockley in the death of a black man.
Messages seeking comment from police and Mayor Lyda Krewson’s office were not immediately returned.