Protesters face off with police in St. Louis after officer’s acquittal

ST. LOUIS — Dozens of protesters are facing off with police in riot gear in downtown St. Louis after blocking a bus filled with officers.

The protests come after a judge announced Friday that Jason Stockley was not guilty of first-degree murder in the 2011 death of 24-year-old Anthony Lamar Smith.

Hundreds of protesters are marching through city streets.

A smaller group stood in front of a city bus filled with officers in riot gear, blocking it from moving forward. The bus backed up and protesters again tried to stop it, with a few throwing water bottles. The bus moved less than a block before police in riot gear began pushing back the crowd.

Stockley shot 24-year-old Anthony Lamar Smith five times after a high-speed chase. Prosecutors alleged Stockley planted a gun in Smith’s car after he shot him.

One man has been arrested during protests.

St. Louis police say a man was arrested Friday for damaging a police vehicle as protesters marched down a St. Louis street. The suspect’s name has not been released.

Hundreds of protesters blocked streets, marched and tried unsuccessfully to walk onto Interstate 64, where they were blocked from entering the highway by police.

The head of the NAACP St. Louis is asking President Donald Trump and the U.S. Justice Department to immediately review the acquitta..

St. Louis Public Radio reports that in a letter sent Friday, St. Louis NAACP president Adolphus Pruitt said the Justice Department needed to give immediate attention to the case “to get to the truth of what happened and to ensure that justice has been served.”

Pruitt says the community has lost faith in local authorities to fairly handle such cases. He cited the remarks from Albert Watkins, the attorney for Smith’s fiancee. Watkins said ruling was “appallingly contrary” to evidence in the case.