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Louis concert amid protests over police officer's acquittal on murder charge

17 September 2017

The police department has gone so far as to warn the band U2 it would be unable to provide security for the band's concert there, causing it to be canceled.

Bricks and chemical agents were thrown last night by a crowd of 1,000 protesters in St. Louis following the not-guilty verdict of a former white police officer, Jason Stockley, in the fatal shooting of a young black man, Anthony Lamar Smith.

"In light of this information, we can not in good conscience risk our fans" safety by proceeding with tonight's concert.

More updates to come, if necessary. The promoter was also informed that the local crowd security personnel would not be at full capacity.

St. Louis City and County police officers are working 12-hour shifts beginning today in response to expected protests.

St. Louis Circuit Judge Timothy Wilson found 36-year-old Jason Stockley not guilty of first-degree murder and armed criminal action. Protests and clashes broke out after a grand jury cleared the officer, giving rise to the Black Lives Matter movement.

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The verdict has had a particular resonance in St. Louis, site of riots in 2014 after death of Michael Brown, 18, in Ferguson, not far away.

The 36-year-old was arrested in May 2016 and accused of planting a gun in Smith's auto, but he said he had acted in self-defence. A gun found in Smith's auto only carried DNA from Stockley.

Friday's demonstrations led to several clashes - including rocks thrown at a police auto and objects tossed at officers in riot gear - and culminated when protesters broke a window and spattered red paint on the home of Mayor Lyda Krewson. After crashing into the auto, he then shot at Smith five times, according to the documents.

"I'm sad, I'm hurt, I'm mad", Rev Clinton Stancil of the Wayman AME Church in St Louis said by telephone. But prosecutors argued Mr Stockley planted the weapon and that the gun had only Mr Stockley's DNA on it.

Acting Police Commissioner Lawrence O'Toole said in a statement posted to Twitter that 10 police officers were injured throughout the day and 32 people were arrested in the protests.

Louis concert amid protests over police officer's acquittal on murder charge