The confrontation between the demonstrators and the police officers began after former officer Jason Stockley was acquitted of the murder charge of Anthony Lamar Smith. The former white police officer was charged with the murder of a black driver last year.

When did the protest get violent?

A peaceful march turned into a violent protest after some agitators initiated attacks on police officers and caused damage to property. People were protesting peacefully, but things took a violent turn after dark when some agitators in the crowd began attacking the officers with bottles and bricks. Hundreds of people marched towards the mayor's residence and, threw stones at the house and broke windows.

Police chief Lawrence O'Toole said that they had to fire pepper spray balls and tear gas to disperse the crowd which was a "less lethal option."

The clashes resulted in 23 people getting arrested and 10 police officers injured. The officers were ready to face the protestors in riot gear in case of violence. The police informed people that a peaceful protest was not a problem and some people were even allowed to use microphones. The St. Louis police department commended its officers for showing great control and also mentioned the fact that protestors caused damage to property. The protests also became the reason for two major artists, Ed Sheeran and U2, canceling their concerts.

People are enraged by the verdict.

The decision in the 2011 shooting case certainly didn’t please people as most of them saw the decision as biased towards the police department.

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Anthony Lamar Smith was fatally shot by white police officer Jason Stockley in 2001 after a car chase. Anthony was a suspected heroin dealer. Jason stated that he shot Anthony in self-defense as he feared that Smith might shoot him, but the prosecutors believed that he planted the gun on Smith after shooting him. Judge Timothy Wilson, who ruled the decision in favor of the police officer, stated that there wasn't enough evidence to prove that the gun was planted. He defined that Smith's car hit a police officer's car before driving off which resulted in a three-minute long pursuit. Officer Stokley approached the suspect's vehicle with his a hand on the holstered gun after which he seemed to wrestle with someone at the window before firing shots from his gun.

Most of this was based on the footage obtained from the dash cam on Jason's vehicle. However, according to a submitted document, Jason was chasing Smith with another officer and said that he was “going to kill this motherf#cker, don't you know it" and he even asked his fellow officer to drive into Smith's car. Even though the decision was ruled in Jason's favor, people said that Smith was a loving father, a son and above all, a human and, he deserved the chance to prove himself innocent.