St. Louis police union rep nervous about nighttime protests

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There were renewed calls for peace as day turned to night in St. Louis in the wake of a judge’s “not guilty” ruling in Jason Stockley murder trial.

Stockely is a former St. Louis police officer who shot and killed Anthony Lamar Smith after a high-speed chase in December 2011. Stockley claimed it was self-defense, that Smith was reaching for a gun.

The of the St. Louis Police Officers Association told Fox 2/News 11 he’d been getting reports of police cars damaged and the window of a bus full of police officers being broken out.

There were also reports of police using pepper spray on demonstrators.

Police reported nothing but peaceful protests throughout the morning and into the afternoon. Just before 1:30 p.m., police reported demonstrators blocking a bus full of officers, throwing rocks at it, and throwing water bottles at officers a few minutes later.

There was a renewed call for peace as nightfall approached and a reminder that officers were not out there for themselves: they’re protecting everyone else, protesters included.

“We need for folks to work with the department to make sure that not only our officers are safe, but that protesters are unharmed and their rights are observed,” said Jeff Roorda, the Police Officers Association’s Business Manager. “There were some arrests made and some objects thrown. That doesn’t bode well for tonight. What we saw in Ferguson was that the protests during the day were generally peaceful and protests in the dark hours were general violent. That we’re already having this sort of chicanery in the daytime protests makes me really nervous about what the evening holds for us.”

Roorda said he was disappointed in elected leaders not doing more to urge peace. Both St. Louis Mayor Lyda Krewson and Missouri Governor Eric Greitens failed to address the public during the day, aside from issuing statements in the morning.

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