What a driver is supposed to do when encountering protesters - KMOV.com

What a driver is supposed to do when encountering protesters

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Credit: KMOV Credit: KMOV
ST. LOUIS, Mo. (KMOV.com) -

An expert says that while it is illegal for protesters to be in the street without a permit, drivers should leave protesters to be dealt with by police.

Many people are uneasy over the verdict in the Jason Stockley trial. Sources tell News 4 they expect a verdict to be announced in the case on Friday. Some activists have said there will be mass disruptions if a not guilty verdict is announced.

Several events in the St. Louis area such as a U2 concert and the Forest Park Balloon Glow are planned for the weekend.

Drivers encountering protesters is a dynamic that has been seen as recently as Wednesday night. In Kirkwood, a driver sped through a protest. No one was injured. 

“It is really simple. If you’re a driver, you don’t get to run over or through people whatever their reason is for being there, whether it’s right or wrong,” said Greg Magarian, a professor of constitutional law at Washington University.

He said it's up to police to deal with the fact that marching in the street is illegal. 

“You don’t get to enforce jaywalking laws by plowing into a jaywalker,” said Magarian.

Magarian said if a driver fears for their safety, they might be able to argue self-defense, but a protester surrounding a car is not a threat. If that protester has a gun or a weapon, then that's a different story. But would be settled likely in court. 

Missouri Gov. Eric Greitens says he will not allow protesters to march on interstates like what happened in during protests in Ferguson. St. Louis City police have not said how they plan to enforce laws against marching in the street.

Members of the clergy have said while they do not want to see destruction, they do plan for disruptions.

City officials have said in the past, if you encounter protesters, turn around and take a different route. 

Currently, the only event to be canceled in St. Louis City is the St. Louis Walk to End Alzheimer’s.

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