St. Louis Public Radio photojournalist Carolina Hidalgo shares her favorite photos from 2017:
In September of this year, a judge found former St. Louis police officer Jason Stockley not guilty in the 2011 shooting death of Anthony Lamar Smith. For months, hundreds of people gathered in the streets – across the city and the county – to protest the verdict.
The protests were not the first of the year. In July, as temperatures soared above 100 degrees, people protested the lack of air conditioning at St. Louis’ medium security jail. City officials later announced they would install temporary air conditioning units.
In August, members of the Kansas-based Westboro Baptist Church traveled to St. Louis to protest the Cardinals’ first Pride Night. The small group was outnumbered by counterprotesters.
In May and June, protesters repeatedly gathered at the Confederate monument in Forest Park until the statue came down.
These moments – of people making their voices heard and demands known – make up most of my favorite pictures from 2017.
Demonstrators observe a moment of silence for Anthony Lamar Smith after attending a forum at Harris-Stowe State University in October. The panel discussion at the historically black university – billed as a conversation on how to transfer the energy and momentum of protests into policy – left many attendees frustrated and disappointed.
Documentary filmmaker Chris Phillips lies on the ground after police sprayed chemical agents into a crowd of people protesting conditions inside St. Louis’ Medium Security Institution, also known as the Workhouse. People inside the jail – most awaiting trial and unable to afford bail – were being held without air conditioning as temperatures soared above 100 degrees in July.
A protester receives help from a street medic after St. Louis police officers sprayed chemical agents outside Busch Stadium on the fourteenth night of protests following the acquittal of former officer Jason Stockley. On this night, police also shot activist Calvin “Cap” Kennedy with a Taser and arrested the Rev. Darryl Gray.
At a vigil marking three years since Mike Brown was killed by a Ferguson police officer, people honored the lives of Darren Seals and Edward Crawford. Both men, whose photos were framed and set down on Canfield Drive, were well-known Ferguson activists. Seals was found shot dead inside a burning car in 2016. Crawford died in May from a gunshot police say was self-inflicted.
Brendan Koch, of Arnold, Missouri, visits the Confederate Memorial in Forest Park in June after crews hauled away the top piece of the monument. The statue, which went up 49 years after the Civil War ended as part of a national effort to redefine the Confederacy, came down this summer.
Mel Moffitt glares at St. Louis police officers, who lined up along the outer fence of the Workhouse as protesters demonstrated against conditions inside the city jail during a July heatwave.
As protesters from the Kansas-based Westboro Baptist Church gathered at Busch Stadium in August to denounce the St. Louis Cardinals’ first Pride Night, counterprotesters – including Amber Whitaker – chased away a man who said he was with the website InfoWars.
Joyetta White looks up at a partial eclipse with classmates while waiting for the total solar eclipse to deliver a full minute of totality at Long International Middle School in St. Louis in August.
A man holds up a dove during a protest outside Ferguson Market & Liquor on Aug. 9, 2017, three years after Mike Brown was killed by Ferguson police. A crowd briefly gathered at the store following a memorial ceremony for Brown on Canfield Drive. Residents protested at the business this past summer and asked that the city council not renew the store’s liquor license.
Mya Petty poses for a portrait outside her home in the Baden neighborhood in St. Louis before heading to her high school graduation at Parkway Central High School in Chesterfield. Before graduating, Petty reflected on her experiences as a student in St. Louis’ long-running school desegregation program.
Protesters gathered for a vigil outside the home of Kiwi Herring, a black transgender woman shot and killed by St. Louis police in August. At the second of two vigils following Herring’s death, speakers urged people to remember and honor Herring and continue the long fight against transphobia.
Carrie Trip, with the Perry County School District, volunteered to help residents clean out what was left of their homes after a tornado roared through Perryville, killing one person and damaging more than 100 homes.
Tyson Richardet holds his five-year-old son, Kwinton, while surveying the damage to his auto body shop. A tornado that tore through Perryville in March destroyed Richardet’s business and home.
Lyda Krewson waves to attendees after taking the oath of office to become the 46th mayor of St. Louis at a swearing-in ceremony at City Hall in April. Krewson became St. Louis’ first woman mayor.
People walk past police cars with their hands up while protesting the acquittal of former St. Louis police officer Jason Stockley, who killed Anthony Lamar Smith in 2011. Several hundred protesters gathered to demonstrate in the Central West End on Sept. 16, after St. Louis Circuit Judge Timothy Wilson found Stockley – charged with first-degree murder – not guilty.
Demonstrators protest after a town-hall meeting at Christ Church Cathedral in St. Louis, during which organizers clarified protesters’ demands following the acquittal of former police officer Jason Stockley. The main demand, they said, is simple: “Stop killing us.”
A protestor sits on Hortense Place with a bottle of liquor while looking toward Kingshighway Boulevard, as police throw tear gas canisters toward demonstrators on the first night of protests following the acquittal of former officer Jason Stockley.
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