The second wave of protests took place on Saturday evening in St. Louis following the acquittal of a White former police officer who shot and killed a Black man, reports CNN.
Six years ago, officer Jason Stockley fatally shot 24-year-old Anthony Lamar Smith after a high-speed car chase occurred over an attempted drug bust, the news outlet writes. Stockley was acquitted of first-degree murder and other criminal charges on Friday despite the fact that in-car video footage captured him saying that he was going to kill Smith and he planted a gun in Smith’s car after shooting him.
On Saturday, scores of peaceful demonstrators walked the streets of downtown St. Louis to express their dismay over the case’s outcome. “Eventually I just had to come out and do something,” a protester told CNN. “It feels like a parade for peace.”
As the demonstration continued, chaos ensued. According to CNN, a group of demonstrators flung rocks, bricks, and projectiles with paint at law enforcement officials who were trying to break up the large crowd. Other protesters reportedly broke the storefront windows of local businesses. Police officials say nine people were arrested following the mayhem on Saturday night.
The events that occurred on Saturday mirrored some of what took place during the demonstration on Friday; including spurts of violence in the midst of a peaceful protest. According to a tweet posted by the St. Louis, Missouri police department, 33 people were arrested and 11 law enforcement officials were injured on Friday, reports the source.
Smith’s loved ones say that they will continue to fight for justice. “(My son) wasn’t wrong. I felt like the verdict was wrong,” said his mother, Annie Smith, according to CNN. “The judge made the wrong decision. … Justice wasn’t served. I (didn’t) get … justice. I could never be at peace.”
Racial tensions in Missouri have been heightened since the death of Michael Brown—an unarmed Black teenager who was fatally shot by a White police officer in 2014.