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143 arrested after protest blocks St. Louis highway traffic

143 arrested after protest blocks St. Louis highway traffic”

St. Louis police arrested more than 120 protesters blocking a highway Tuesday night as the city entered its third straight week of protests surrounding a former officer's acquittal for murder charges.

SLMPD tweeted that protesters drove onto I-64 from Kingshighway and exited their cars, shutting down the highway.

Police said multiple arrests were made near Jefferson Avenue and Market Street.

Demonstrators have been protesting since mid-September over the acquittal of a white former police officer, Jason Stockley, in the 2011 killing of a black drug suspect, Anthony Lamar Smith.

The lawsuit claims that police used unnecessarily heavy-handed tactics such as tear gas and pepper spray, that officers arrested innocent bystanders and journalists and that officers taunted some of the arrested people.

In a lawsuit filed after about 120 people were arrested September 17, the American Civil Liberties Union of Missouri raised concerns about a police tactic known as "kettling", in which lines of officers move protesters into a limited area.

"They kettled us again", said Reverend Darryl Gray, who was one of the 143 people arrested in this week's round-up.

The St. Louis police department estimated around 100 protesters were marching on the interstate. He stressed that the protest was a peaceful one, and that when officers began making arrests, "No one resisted".

Motorist were for a time being urged to use alternate routes to downtown St. Louis. She asked the Board of Aldermen for $1.3 million to launch an independent team that would include four prosecutors, five investigators and two support staff.



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