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Protesters square off with police officers at the gates of Busch Stadium Thursday, Sept. 21, 2017 during a concert. They were protesting the acquittal of a former St. Louis police officer on murder charges.
Ryan Delaney | St. Louis Public Radio

'White allies' protest Stockley verdict outside Billy Joel concert at Busch Stadium

Updated at 9:40 p.m. with additional details — Hundreds of “white allies” marched in the streets downtown on Thursday. Their aim was to demonstrate broadening support for the protest movement sparked by a judge’s decision to acquit a former police officer of murder. For more about 90 minutes, a crowd of predominantly white demonstrators expressed solidarity with African-Americans. For the past week, many have protested St. Louis Circuit Judge Timothy Wilson’s decision to find Jason Stockley, who is white, not guilty of murder in the 2011 death of Anthony Lamar Smith, a black man. Continuing the strategy of protest organizers to direct demonstrators' concerns toward those for whom systemic injustice is not an issue, the crowd marched from Kiener Plaza to Busch Stadium, where thousands had gathered for an 8 p.m. concert by singer Billy Joel.

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Panelists at Harris-Stowe University discuss racial inequality on Sept. 21, 2017.
Chelsea Hoye | ST. LOUIS PUBLIC RADIO

As the St. Louis region manages the ongoing unrest sparked by a judge’s decision to acquit a white former police officer in the death of a black man, civil rights activists say it’s past time for the city to address the policies that have long kept black people behind.

St. Louis must put an end to systemic racism if conditions are to improve for African-Americans, community leaders said Thursday during a panel discussion at Harris-Stowe University.

“Education is freedom; it allows you choices,” state Sen. Jamilah Nasheed said. “It allows you to go to the next level.”

SLSO Music Director David Robertson in an interview with St. Louis Public Radio
Aine O'Connor | St. Louis Public Radio

The acoustics of Powell Hall. The musicians. The audience.

David Robertson acknowledges that embarking on his final season as music director of the St. Louis Symphony Orchestra is “bittersweet.” Robertson, however, who’s been with the SLSO since 2005, isn’t looking back just yet. He’s focused on the orchestra’s upcoming season, its 138th.

A St. Louis County police officer advances toward protesters blocking Brentwood Blvd. in front of Galleria mall Wednesday evening.
Ryan Delaney | St. Louis Public Radio

On Thursday's St. Louis on the Air, host Don Marsh was joined by St. Louis Public Radio editor Erica Hunzinger to discuss protests and response to the not-guilty verdict of Jason Stockley in the St. Louis region. 

Some of the latest stories our newsroom has produced are:

Protesters faced off with police Friday afternoon just hours after ex-St. Louis police officer Jason Stockley was found not guilty in the 2011 shooting death of Anthony Lamar Smith.
Carolina Hidalgo | St. Louis Public Radio

 

Originally published on September 20, 2017. Updated with audio from Don Marsh's discussion with Jeffrey Mittman on "St. Louis on the Air."

This past week, hundreds of people took to the streets to express outrage at a judge’s decision to find former St. Louis police officer Jason Stockley not guilty of first-degree murder in the 2011 death of Anthony Lamar Smith.

The protests largely have been peaceful. But police have made numerous arrests since the demonstrations began. On Sunday alone, police made 123 arrests — largely on a charge of failure to disperse. They also charged a few people with the destruction of property or assault. 

On Chess: Can chess prevent memory loss?

16 hours ago
People enjoying a game of chess outside the Chess Club
Chess Club & Scholastic Center of Saint Louis

Dr. Lauren Schwarz and colleagues at Saint Louis University School of Medicine are conducting a research study examining the effect learning and playing chess has on memory loss. The researchers are using neuroimaging to measure whether or not a specified program of playing chess results in functional changes within the brain. This study is being conducted with funding provided by the Chess Club and Scholastic Center in Saint Louis.

About 100 people attended a town hall meeting Wednesday night at the O'Fallon Park Recreation Complex.
Mary Delach Leonard | St. Louis Public Radio

The next police chief of St. Louis needs to reign in a department that has allowed its officers to too quickly use deadly force and frequently mistreat African-Americans, residents said Wednesday night.

St. Louis is preparing to hire someone to replace former Chief Sam Dotson, who retired April 19, the day after Mayor Lyda Krewson was took office. Since then, Larry O’Toole has led the department as interim chief.

Protesters blocked Brentwood Blvd. outside of the Galleria mall on Wednesday night as they chanted “for Anthony Smith and Michael Brown, shut it down, shut it down.”
Ryan Delaney | St. Louis Public Radio

Updated at 7:45 p.m. with mall closure — The advertised gathering spot Wednesday for people wanting to voice their displeasure with the Jason Stockley verdict was downtown Clayton.

That was a decoy, as protesters converged on the St. Louis Galleria and blocked traffic on busy Brentwood Boulevard in Richmond Heights, about a mile away. Both Clayton and the mall were targeted because of protesters’ strategy to disrupt business as usual in affluent communities.

Anthony Lamar Smith's mother, Annie Smith (center), watches a meeting of the St. Louis Board of Estimate and Apportionment. Smith's son was killed in 2011 by former St. Louis Police officer Jason Stockley.
Jason Rosenbaum I St. Louis Public Radio

St. Louis’ top elected officials said Wednesday they support a company’s offer to supply free body camera for police officers. But it’s not a sure thing that the St. Louis Metropolitan Police Department will use them permanently.

St. Louis Mayor Lyda Krewson, Comptroller Darlene Green and Board of Aldermen President Lewis Reed approved a proposal from Axon, formerly called Taser, to provide police officers with the cameras. In April, Axon said it would offer body cameras to all police departments for a year for free.

The three officials also voted to request bids from companies that would permanently supply the devices.

Marsha Coplon and Jeane Vogel are working to collect oral histories from Meacham Park residents.
Kelly Moffitt | St. Louis Public Radio

A year and a half ago, the Repertory Theatre of St. Louis, Springboard to Learning and Webster Arts formed a collaboration to document and celebrate the history of Meacham Park.

On Wednesday’s St. Louis on the Air, host Don Marsh was joined by Marsha Coplon, education director for The Rep, and Jeane Vogel, executive director of Webster Arts, to discuss the Meacham Park Celebration that is the culmination of the collaboration.

Laura Solsten, 60, of Creve Coeur, prays during a vigil Tuesday, Sept. 19, 2017, in downtown St. Louis.
Ryan Delaney | St. Louis Public Radio

On Wednesday's St. Louis on the Air, host Don Marsh was joined by St. Louis Public Radio Executive Editor Shula Neuman to discuss protests and responses to the not-guilty verdict of Jason Stockley in the St. Louis region. 

Some of the latest stories our newsroom has produced include:

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St. Louis on the Air

Friday: BookFest St. Louis and Sherman Alexie come to the Central West End

On Friday's St. Louis on the Air host Don Marsh will talk with author Sherman Alexie and organizers of the inaugural BookFest St. Louis.

Public Insight Network

Help inform our coverage

Become part of our Public Insight Network. We use the PIN to get insight from people like you. Today's question: What questions or concerns do you have about the Stockley protests?

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