The arrests were made in response to an impromptu sit-in at a convenience store during a planned march to protest the shooting deaths of Vonderrit Myers Jr. and Michael Brown. Planned protests this weekend throughout the St. Louis area to stop police violence led to at least 17 arrests Sunday as protesters staged an unplanned sit-in outside of a convenience store and refused police orders to leave.
St. Louis police spokeswoman Schron Jackson told Reuters that those detained were arrested for “unlawful assembly” Sunday morning in the parking lot of a QuikTrip convenience store. Witnesses claim police used tear gas and pepper spray on a few dozen protesters, but Reuters could not confirm the report.
According to Reuters, protest Saturday was peaceful even as police stood in full riot gear while watching those who marched and chanted for justice in the recent fatal shootings of 18-year-old Vonderrit Myers Jr., who was shot by an off-duty St. Louis police officer in October, and 18-year-old Michael Brown, who was unarmed when he was shot in August by Ferguson, Mo., Police Officer Darren Wilson.
Brown’s mother, Lesley McSpadden, who Reuters notes hasn’t participated in many protests since her son’s death, led marchers Saturday. While McSpadden has been vocal about wanting justice for her son, she has been selective about appearances and, according to Reuters, left the group that grew to about 1,000 marchers. While police reported that protesters shouted obscenities at them and some officers with face guards confronted marchers that donned bandanas over their noses and mouths, there were no arrests made Saturday.
Source: The Root | STEPHEN A. CROCKETT JR.