Lydia Warren, Daily Mail (London), October 13, 2014
More than a thousand protesters marched through the streets of St Louis this morning, marking the fourth day of rallies against police violence in the area.
On Sunday, at least 17 protesters were arrested by police in riot gear for refusing to disperse during a spontaneous sit-in at a convenience store. Officers said protesters threw rocks, while cops responded with pepper spray, witnesses said.
Just hours later, on Monday morning, hundreds of protesters descended on Saint Louis University campus and announced they were there to stay.
The protesters are calling for the arrest of a white police officer, Darren Wilson, who shot dead an unarmed black teenager, Michael Brown, in August. Last week, another black teenager, Vonderrit Myers Jr., also died at the hands of a white police officer–further inflaming tensions.
This morning’s march on the university campus–which was far larger than previous overnight marches in Ferguson–was the first of what was expected to be a series of acts of civil disobedience around the region on Monday, the New York Times reported.
As they walked through the streets, they shouted: ‘Indict, convict, put the killer cops in jail, the whole damn system is guilty as hell.’
Vonderrit Myers Sr., whose son was shot dead in Shaw last Wednesday, told the crowd, ‘You make my heart easier,’ before he held a four-minute moment of silence.
Last Wednesday, an off-duty white officer working for a security firm shot dead 18-year-old Vonderrit Myers Jr. in the Shaw neighborhood in what police described as a firefight.
The mother of Michael Brown, the 18-year-old shot dead onAugust 9 by white officer Darren Wilson in Ferguson, Missouri, walked at thefront of a rally on Saturday evening in the suburb of Ferguson.
Lesley McSpadden, who has criticized Ferguson police, has only rarely participated in protests. She eventually left the group, which grew to over 1,000 people and moved on to Ferguson police headquarters.
At the culmination of the Ferguson march on Saturday night, protesters shouted insults at a line of police in helmets and shields, with some demonstrators wearing bandanas or scarves over their faces. But there were no arrests or violence, a police spokesman said.