ST. LOUIS, USA – Seventeen people were arrested in the US city of St Louis during weekend protests over the August shooting death of a black teenager by a white officer, police said Sunday, October 12.
Thousands of people took to the streets and held vigils as part of a so-called “weekend of resistance” staged in anger over the August 9 death of Michael Brown in the nearby suburb of Ferguson, Missouri.
Tensions flared further last week after another African American teen was shot dead by an off-duty white police officer in St Louis.
Overnight, protesters were taken into custody when they tried to stage a sit-in in the parking lot of a convenience store.
“Last night, there were 17 arrests for Unlawful Assembly,” the St Louis police department said on Twitter.
Police chief Sam Dotson said that protesters were “throwing rocks at the police,” condemning their “continued illegal behavior.”
But marchers and supporters denied that any rocks had been thrown, and accused police of acting like “hooligans,” saying officers had pepper-sprayed people filming the sit-in.
The protests began Friday, October 10, and are due to last into Monday, October 13.
Thousands of people marched on Saturday, October 11, in St Louis and Ferguson.
Brown was shot at least 6 times by police officer Darrell Wilson, and his body was left in the street for several hours.
The incident led to weeks of violence in the St. Louis suburb of 21,000, which has an African-American majority and an overwhelmingly white police department and town government.
Some demonstrators complained that police used undue force during peaceful protests.
Brown’s death prompted a nationwide discussion about race and led to a Department of Justice probe into the Ferguson police department. – Rappler.com