St. Louis Protesters Decry 'Epidemic of Police Violence'

Protest meant 'to destroy systematic racism and white supremacy,' organizer says
By Jenn Gidman,  Newser Staff
Posted Oct 13, 2014 11:08 AM CDT
St. Louis Protesters Decry 'Epidemic of Police Violence'
Protesters pause on Grand Boulevard en route to the St. Louis University campus, where hundreds of demonstrators announced they were staging a sit-in on Oct. 13, 2014, in reaction to the shooting this summer of a black 18-year-old by a white police officer in Ferguson, Mo.   (AP Photo/St. Louis Post-Dispatch, David Carson)

Demonstrators marched to St. Louis University early today, then hunkered down for a sit-in to cap three days of protest against what organizers are calling an "epidemic of police violence," the St. Louis Post-Dispatch reports. Although police and campus security hovered around both the march and sit-in, no arrests were made, the Post-Dispatch notes—though the Washington Post reports brief friction along one part of the march when officers in riot gear threatened to arrest marchers for "unlawful assembly." "We are here to destroy systematic racism and white supremacy," said one organizer. The march and protest are part of the Ferguson October movement, which has been organizing public events to call attention to police violence since the August shooting of Michael Brown.

The St. Louis march started late last night in the Shaw neighborhood, where teen Vonderrit Myers (whose name is alternately being spelled Vonderrick and Vonderritt) was fatally shot last week by an off-duty police officer. Protesters shut down an intersection while tossing footballs around and jumping rope, according to the Post, playing off what's become somewhat of a mantra for the protests: "They think it's a game. They think it's a joke." When the group approached campus, cops tried to stop them there as well, but one protester yelled into a megaphone, "I am a student, I have my ID, and I have a lot of guests"—which apparently worked, because the police let them pass. Myers' father attended the on-campus protest and tells the Post-Dispatch, "This let me know that my son was loved and he is still being loved, right now." (More St. Louis stories.)

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