Protesters Gather Outside Downtown St. Louis Jail

They chanted 'free our people'
By Newser Editors and Wire Services
Posted Sep 19, 2017 1:21 AM CDT
Protesters Gather Outside Downtown St. Louis Jail
Protesters march in silence down Market Street in St. Louis on Monday, Sept. 18, 2017.   (Cristina Fletes)

(Newser) – Protesters chanting "free our people" gathered outside the jail in downtown St. Louis for more than two hours to show solidarity with those who remain behind bars, but there was no repeat of the vandalism that occurred over the weekend. Demonstrators outside the jail Monday night criticized authorities for keeping some of those arrested in jail nearly 24 hours after they were taken into custody, the AP reports. Police said more than 120 people were arrested during Sunday's protests over the acquittal of a white former police officer in the killing of a black suspect. Some of those jailed were released Monday evening before organizers announced an end to the demonstration and told people to go home.

Organizers said protests will resume Tuesday. Three days of peaceful protests and three nights of vandalism followed Friday's announcement that a judge found ex-officer Jason Stockley not guilty in the 2011 death of Anthony Lamar Smith. Hundreds of riot police mobilized downtown late Sunday, arresting more than 80 people at one intersection after police said they didn't follow orders to disperse. Sean Porter, 25, was among those arrested. He says they could not follow orders to disperse because police had them blocked in. "They threw us on the ground, sprayed us, hit us, everything. It's tragic," says Porter, who was released from jail Monday evening. (On Sunday, police were the ones chanting.)

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