ST. LOUIS, Mo. – There has been 10 officers injured during violent protests in St. Louis, reported Fox 2 Now.
About 1,000 protesters surrounded the home of St. Louis Mayor Lyda Krewson in the Central West End late Friday, breaking at least two windows and throwing red paint at the brick house. Finally, some 200 police in riot gear moved in to break it up.
There was no indication on the scene that Krewson was in the home at the time, reported the St. Louis Post-Dispatch.
Police used tear gas on the violent demonstrators after they criminally vandalized the mayor’s home.
In a late night briefing posted on a social media platform, interim St. Louis Metropolitan Police Chief Lawrence O’Toole and Mayor Krewson updated the public on the status of protests. The dissent in the area lasted all day Friday following the not guilty verdict in the murder trial of former St. Louis police officer Jason Stockley.
The demonstrations began soon after Judge Timothy Wilson acquitted Stockley of murder charges in the 2011 shooting of a black suspect, Anthony Lamar Smith. He led officers on a vehicle pursuit after they reported a narcotic transaction had occurred.
Missouri Gov. Eric Greitens (R) put the state’s National Guard on standby on Thursday in anticipation of potential protests after the verdict was announced, reported The Hill.
“I’m committed to protecting everyone’s constitutional right to protest peacefully, while also protecting people’s lives, homes, and communities,” Greitens said in a statement.
In a video posted on Periscope, O’Toole said his “officers have been very tolerant and have used great restraint” in the face of protests that have been peaceful but at times have turned violent downtown and in the city’s Central West End.
As a result of the violence, there has been nine St. Louis police officers and a Missouri State Highway Patrol trooper that have been injured. The injuries were sustained when assaultive protesters threw bricks at the police. Chief O’Toole indicated the injuries range from a possible broken jaw to a dislocated shoulder.
Consequently, the injuries are being reported as non-life-threatening. Yet a broken jaw and dislocated shoulder are serious, nonetheless.
Protest activity in the Central West End focused on Mayor Krewson’s home, which sustained the previously described broken windows and paint damage. Moreover, there is also damage reported at a Culpepper’s restaurant and the Schlafly Branch of the St. Louis Public Library. Additionally, there were several more restaurants that incurred property damage.
“Many of the demonstrators were peaceful,” O’Toole said. “However, after dark, many agitators began to destroy property and assault police officers.”
“Orders to disperse were given numerous times,” O’Toole said. “Tear gas was deployed after officers were assaulted with bricks and bottles. Officers did deploy pepper balls as a less-than-lethal option after agitators continued to assault officers with objects and destroy property.”
— Joe Holleman (@STLsherpa) September 16, 2017
According to police, there were a total of 23 arrests by 6 p.m. Friday, with 32 in custody by 1:30 a.m. Saturday. Police made a point of distinguishing between demonstrators who were largely peaceful, and “agitators” who were behind property damage and the assaults on law enforcement.
Chief O'Toole & Mayor Krewson update citizens on tonight's demonstrations. https://t.co/7thVAbntCX
— St. Louis, MO Police (@SLMPD) September 16, 2017
Krewson did not speak about the apparent damage to her home, but thanked officers and those watching the video.
“Thank you to St. Louis police officers,” she said. “Thank you also to the citizens of St. Louis for your patience and your tolerance. We look forward to finishing this evening on a good note, and to tomorrow.”
Some protesters were carrying weapons, according to the AP. However, specific details regarding weapons were unknown.
(Photo: Screenshot News 4 YouTube video)