ST. LOUIS - Eleven police officers were injured, 32 "agitators" were arrested, and several businesses were damaged in violent protests overnight.
In a news conference on Periscope, Interim Chief Lawrence O’Toole said the St. Louis Public Library's Schlafly Branch, Culpeppers Bar and Grill, and Mayor Lyda Krewson's home were damaged by agitators as protests turned violent late Friday night.
According to a tweet from the St. Louis police, the St. Louis Fire Department was called to extinguish a fire in a dumpster in the Central West End. The tweet said two people were arrested in connection with the incident.
A spokesperson for the St. Louis Metropolitan Police Department sent out a news release that said nine St. Louis officers, one Missouri State Highway Patrol trooper, and one St. Louis County officer were injured. One of the city officers was hit with a brick. O'Toole said the injuries to St. Louis police officers include a possible broken jaw and a dislocated shoulder.
O'Toole said officers gave orders to disperse multiple times and tear gas was used after officers were assaulted with bottles and bricks.
Lewis Reed, president of the Board of Aldermen, released a statement Saturday expressing his disappointment protests turned violent Friday night:
“Reflecting on the events that have occurred over the last 24 hours, I am deeply disappointed and shocked with the verdict.
“Soon after the announcement, our streets were filled with non-violent protesters. The diversity and passion of the protestors was inspiring. The organized community that came together yesterday to have their voices heard is inspiring. As elected officials, we need to listen to these voices in order to bring about change.
“As the night went on, I was disappointed to learn about the attacks on the Mayor's home, members of the media and on law enforcement. The violence and destruction that occurred last night in the Central West End is not only unproductive, but it is also distracting. The thousands of peaceful protestors who were making their voices heard are now being grouped together with actions of a smaller, misguided group of individuals. But, we cannot let that tarnish the message made so clear yesterday by so many people from so many different walks of life. This city has to change.
“I support the message of the non-violent protestors and will fight to see that message result into real change. As a father of four and an elected official, it is my mission to make this City, and this world, a better place for the next generation. Our City cannot go on like this. To bring about change, it will require partnerships at all levels - activists, police, elected officials and more.
“We can't continue on as business as usual. We need to focus on change in our hurting City.”
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