143 Arrested After Protest Blocks St. Louis Highway Traffic - NBC 5 Dallas-Fort Worth
National & International News
The day’s top national and international news

143 Arrested After Protest Blocks St. Louis Highway Traffic

More than 300 people have been arrested during demonstrations since the judge's verdict

    Winter Olympics PyeongChang 2018 Medal Count
    Country
    Total
    1
    Norway
    1211932
    2
    Germany
    117523
    3
    Canada
    95620
    processing...

    NEWSLETTERS

    143 Arrested After Protest Blocks St. Louis Highway Traffic
    Scott Olson/Getty Images
    In this September 16, 2017 file photo, police arrest a demonstrator protesting the acquittal of former St. Louis police officer Jason Stockley in St. Louis, Missouri.

    Police arrested 143 people after protesters blocked traffic on a busy highway near downtown St. Louis as part of the ongoing demonstrations against the acquittal of a white former police officer in the 2011 killing of a black man.

    Protesters gathered Tuesday evening and marched to Interstate 64, where some walked onto the roadway and blocked traffic for several minutes. Police began arresting people after protesters left the highway.

    Police haven't said what charges they will face. A spokeswoman for the Circuit Attorney's office said they likely will be charged in municipal court.

    Authorities have made more than 300 arrests at demonstrations over the Sept. 15 acquittal of former officer Jason Stockley in the shooting death of 24-year-old Anthony Lamar Smith following a high-speed chase.

    Parkland Shooting Survivor Calls 'BS' on Politicians' Gun Stance

    [NATL] Parkland Shooting Survivor Calls 'BS' on Politicians' Gun Stance

    Marjory Stoneman Douglas High senior Emma Gonzalez had a message for president Donald Trump and for other politicians on their failure to enact sensible gun laws: "BS." Gonzalez was one of several survivors to speak at a rally held outside the Federal Courthouse in Fort Lauderdale, Florida, to speak out against the gun lobby.

    (Published Sunday, Feb. 18, 2018)

    Protesters and civil liberties groups have accused the authorities of using heavy-handed tactics against demonstrators.

    In a lawsuit filed after about 120 people were arrested Sept. 17, the American Civil Liberties Union of Missouri raised concerns about a police tactic known as "kettling," in which lines of officers move protesters into a limited area. The lawsuit also accused police of unnecessarily using of tear gas and pepper spray, arresting bystanders and journalist, and taunting some of those who were arrested.

    Police have defended their actions, saying protesters threw rocks and other items at officers, sprayed some with unknown substances and shattered shop windows.

    The Rev. Darryl Gray, a protest organizer, was arrested Tuesday night for the second time in five days. He was also arrested Friday during a protest near Busch Stadium.

    "They kettled us again," Gray said in a phone interview shortly after being released from jail on Wednesday. "No one resisted." He said two social media journalists and others not involved in the highway blockage were among those arrested.

    By Wednesday afternoon, several of those arrested were still in jail while dozens of other protesters, some with tents, waited on the sidewalk outside for their release. Gray said virtually all of the people arrested were from the St. Louis area.

    Russians Indicted for Alleged Election Meddling Conspiracy

    [NATL] Russians Indicted for Alleged Election Meddling Conspiracy

    Deputy Attorney General Rod Rosenstein announces indictments against 13 Russians and three Russian entities accused of meddling in the 2016 U.S. presidential election.

    (Published Friday, Feb. 16, 2018)

    Protests have occurred in the suburbs, too, including a Sept. 23 demonstration at the St. Louis Galleria shopping mall in Richmond Heights, Missouri, that resulted in 22 arrests.

    Earlier Tuesday, St. Louis Circuit Attorney Kim Gardner outlined to a city board a proposal that her office take over and lead all use-of-force investigations involving the police. She asked the Board of Aldermen for $1.3 million to launch an independent team that would include four prosecutors, five investigators and two support staff.

    Currently, use-of-force cases are investigated internally by the police department's Force Investigation Unit.

    "Both the community and police deserve an objective, fair and transparent investigation, and it is no longer acceptable for police to be essentially investigating themselves," Gardner said.

    Lt. Roger Engelhardt, who heads the Force Investigation Unit, said Gardner is "naive" if she thinks her office's credibility also wouldn't be questioned. He stood by the investigations of his unit.

    "Every investigation, you have to do the best job you can to be as fair and unbiased as you can," Engelhardt said.