Louis concert amid protests over police officer's acquittal on murder charge

Anthony Lamar Smith

On Friday night, more than 20 arrests were made in St. Louis, MO when riots broke out after a judge acquitted a white former St. Louis police officer Jason Stockley for first degree murder of a black man named Anthony Smith in 2011. The officer quit the St. Louis Metropolitan Police Department in 2013 and was arrested in May 2016. "I'm committed to protecting everyone's constitutional right to protest peacefully, while also protecting people's lives, homes, and communities". He said the National Guard is on standby. They said the Sunday afternoon matinee is sold out, so there will be no exchanges.

Bono is "deeply saddened" over the violence in St Louis, Missouri, that forced his band U2 to cancel their Saturday night concert.

"We can not in good conscience risk our fans' safety by proceeding with tonight's concert".

Activists were to meet today to plan further demonstrations.

Demonstrators assembled at the mall briefly before heading out, with plans to reassemble in downtown St. Louis.

Protesters said the verdict highlighted racial injustice and a failure of the St Louis justice system and called for boycotts of St Louis businesses.

The St. Louis Post-Dispatch says almost 1,000 protesters marched on the mayor's home, throwing rocks and breaking windows. The former police officer killed Anthony Lamar Smith in 2011 and was charged with murder a year ago.

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Stockley and his partner chased Smith, who was shot five times in his auto.

Prosecutors said Stockley planted a gun on Smith, as Stockley's DNA was found on the gun but Smith's was not. Smith was black, Stockley is white.

The mostly peaceful protests turned violent after dark as police officers responded to several locations in the city's Central West End.

Demonstrators march through the West County Mall protesting the acquittal of former St. Louis police officer Jason Stockley on September 16, 2017 in St. Louis, Missouri.

"Many of the demonstrators were peaceful", O'Toole said.

However, Wilson ruled that based on "nearly thirty years on the bench ... an urban heroin dealer not in possession of a firearm would be an anomaly", concluding that Smith had been the owner of the firearm, and referencing the drug found in Smith's vehicle.

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