Newspaper article St Louis Post-Dispatch (MO)

Protesters Gather in St. Charles One Week after Stockley Verdict

Newspaper article St Louis Post-Dispatch (MO)

Protesters Gather in St. Charles One Week after Stockley Verdict

Article excerpt

ST. CHARLES * A few hundred protesters marched down Main Street in St. Charles Friday night chanting, "Hey, hey, ho, ho, these killer cops have got to go," one week after a white police officer was acquitted in the shooting death of a black drug suspect.

The protesters initially gathered outside Trailhead Brewing Co. and briefly surrounded a car that was trying to pass as police arrived. Later, protesters stopped traffic at the intersection of Main and Jefferson for six minutes to dramatize the six years it took for authorities to bring former St. Louis patrolman Jason Stockley to trial in the 2011 shooting death of drug suspect Anthony Lamar Smith.

Stockley was acquitted of that murder charge Sept. 15. The judge's verdict in the bench trial has spawned a week of sometimes violent protests and property damage and scores of arrests.

At one point Friday night, protesters walked past several hundred attendees of an Oktoberfest event. Separated by a fence, the attendees yelled at the protesters to go home. Police were seen arresting one man who punched a protester.

In other incidents Friday related to the Stockley verdict, the St. Louis Outlet Mall announced it was closing several hours early after protesters indicated on social media they planned to meet at Cabela's parking lot in Hazelwood .

Most of the spaces at the struggling mall are empty, but a few large tenants remain, including Cabela's, Burlington and an 18-screen Regal movie theater complex. St. Louis Outlet posted on its Facebook page that the mall itself would close at 5 p.m.

Cabela's, which usually is open until 9 p.m. on Fridays, was closing three hours early, according to a notice on its website. Burlington and the Regal complex closed at 5 p.m. A "St. Louis Call to Action" notice was posted on social media Friday, urging protesters of the Stockley verdict to assemble at the mall's parking lot at 6:30 p.m. but only a few people showed up and no protest formed.

Those protesting the verdict have held demonstrations throughout the region during the past week, including at several St. Louis area malls. Thursday night, protesters blocked Brentwood Boulevard near the St. …

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