ST. LOUIS— Police have arrested several people at an upscale St. Louis shopping mall who were protesting the recent acquittal of a white former police officer in the shooting death of a black man.
More than 200 people gathered Saturday at the St. Louis Galleria to continue to protest the Sept. 15 verdict.
The St. Louis Post-Dispatch reports that Saturday’s protest began peacefully, with people marching and chanting among shoppers in the mall.Protests have occurred around the St. Louis area since a judge ruled that white former St. Louis police officer Jason Stockley was not guilty of first-degree murder in the 2011 shooting death of 24-year-old Anthony Lamar Smith, who was black.
Police eventually cleared the mall after some people in the group became disorderly and some trash cans were overturned.
Authorities did not immediately say how many were arrested, but the police department’s Twitter page said 22 were arrested.
Another group protested outside America’s Center in downtown St. Louis. Police blocked off some streets but no arrests were reported.
A reporter from the St. Louis Public Radio tweeted photos of police officers arrested a protester as well as demonstrators traveling throughout the mall.
A reporter from KTIV was heading to the mall to do shopping when she was told the mall was shutdown due to protesters. Police were not letting anyone in but were letting people out.
The police department was posting updates on Twitter.