Peaceful by day, violent by night seems to be a recurring theme of protests following Judge Timothy Wilson’s ruling on Friday to acquit Jason Stockley of first-degree murder in the fatal shooting of 24-year-old Anthony Lamar Smith. On Monday morning, about 150 activists demonstrated in downtown St. Louis. Much of this demonstration was conducted through a silent march, with activists raising their hands to imply their “hands up, don’t shoot” message.
St. Louis Democratic State Representative Bruce Franks, Jr. led the demonstration. Franks said he doesn’t want the violent protests to upstage the narrative of the activists, which is “Stop Killing Us.”
“We can’t let what happened at night shake the narrative for the protests that goes on, when 95, 98 percent is non-violent.” Franks said.
When pressed on the issue, Franks seemed to become agitated.
“How about we continue to talk about Jason Stockley not being convicted? That’s what we need to talk about. I don’t want to talk about anybody else’s house. I don’t want to talk about anybody else’s glass. I don’t want to talk about any other protests. Let’s talk about why he isn’t in jail,” said Franks.
John Chasnoff, the co-chair of The Coalition Against Police Crimes and Repression, had this response to the violent protests in St. Louis:
“Broken windows is one thing, but state sanction murder is another thing. I think we have to keep our eyes on the prize. Keep focused on seeking justice,” said Chasnoff.
More than 80 protesters were arrested Sunday night after their demonstrations turned violent in downtown St. Louis. Police report there was property damage and acts of vandalism during the protests. A bicycle officer also suffered a leg injury. At least five weapons were seized.
Another protest is planned in the Delmar Loop for Monday night.
By Missourinet Contributor Jill Enders