St. Louis Police Hit Protesters With Pepper Spray And Batons During Shaw Shooting Protest

quik trip protest

A day of peace, love and solidarity ended violently when St. Louis police dispersed a crowd of protesters gathered at a local gas station by using pepper spray and batons. Around 200 protesters marched from the Shaw neighborhood to a business and entertainment district known as The Grove. Police had blocked access to the Shaw neighborhood Saturday night, only allowing residents to enter. The protesters, many of whom had just come from a march on the Ferguson police department that occurred after a candlelight vigil in memory of Michael Brown, trekked miles to the intersection of Manchester and Vandeventer.

At 1:30 AM, around 50 protesters arranged a ‘sit down’ protest at a Quik Trip gas station at the intersection. Employees at the store locked the doors and the police were called to the scene. Obviously, police compared this situation with the burning and looting of a Quik Trip in Ferguson a day after Michael Brown’s death in August. Dozens of police officers, decked out in riot gear, arrived at the scene. Protesters, shouting various chants, did not move and continued to sit in front of the store.

St. Louis Police Chief Sam Dotson was at the gas station and informed the protesters that they were unlawfully assembled. Technically, Dotson was correct, as Quik Trip is not public property. Once again, protesters refused to budge. Police then claimed that someone from the crowd began throwing rocks at the officers.

 

  At this point, the police pushed the protesters against the wall of the gas station and began using pepper spray and batons to disperse the crowd. One livestreamer documenting the event was hit with pepper spray for the second time in less than a week.

 

Despite the presence of media at the scene, there is no documented evidence that anything was thrown at the police officers. Considering that the police could make a case that they needed to make arrests and disperse the crowd due to them illegally assembling on private property, it seems unnecessary to make the claim that police were being attacked by protesters. Especially when most of those protesters were sitting down at the time.

The number of protesters arrested was not immediately released by St. Louis police. Demonstrators and media who were there say the number of people arrested could be as many as ten. Demonstrations have been ongoing in the Shaw neighborhood since Wednesday evening, when 18-year-old VonDerrit Myers, Jr. was shot and killed by an off-duty St. Louis police officer. Police claim they recovered a gun at the scene of Myers death and that Myers fired upon the officer after the officer attempted a ‘pedestrian check.’ Myers had just left Shaw Market a few minutes earlier after buying a turkey sandwich. The owner says it did not appear Myers was carrying a gun at the time. The police officer fired 17 shots at Myers, hitting him at least six times.

Saturday featured a number of events in the St. Louis area in connection with Ferguson October, a Weekend of Resistance. Earlier in the day, thousands of people gathered in downtown St. Louis for a march and rally to protest police violence and racial disparity. There were also panel discussions, meetings and activities throughout the day. The evening featured the aforementioned vigil at the Canfield Green apartment complex, where Brown was shot and killed by Ferguson police officer Darren Wilson. Hundreds who gathered at the vigil then marched a couple miles to the Ferguson police station.

Ferguson October continues through Monday. Sunday features a number of events culminating in a mass meeting at Chaifetz Arena, where Dr. Cornel West will be the keynote speaker.

 

Image courtesy of STLToday

7 Replies to “St. Louis Police Hit Protesters With Pepper Spray And Batons During Shaw Shooting Protest”

  1. Ferguson is the new Birmingham. We are back in the ’60s and the civil rights era. The right wing freaks on the Supreme Court have given us this spectacle not only rising its ugly head in the wanton killings in the St Louis county area of MO but across the nation in endless reports of cops gone wild. We send our local police forces to Israel to learn how to control the minorities – Palestinians for them, African Americans for us. We equip the police with military hardware as though they were the IDF and send them into residential neighborhoods to control the population. Police brutality must not become acceptable again in this nation as it was in the ’60s. We overcame once and now we see voting rights and minority rights once again reverting to the Jim Crow days. We cannot allow this to happen. We cannot.

  2. Highest prison population in the world.
    Corporate profit making prisons.
    Most racist, by far, developed country.
    Police force killing people.
    Politics so corrupted it’s socially powerless.

    Get your SH#T together America.
    From across the pond.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published.

This site is protected by reCAPTCHA and the Google Privacy Policy and Terms of Service apply.