Lawmakers, clergy call for investigation into police tactics aft - KMOV.com

Lawmakers, clergy call for investigation into police tactics after Galleria arrests

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Police make multiple arrests after protesters march through the St. Louis Galleria on Saturday. (Credit: KMOV) Police make multiple arrests after protesters march through the St. Louis Galleria on Saturday. (Credit: KMOV)

ST. LOUIS (KMOV.com) -- Some city and state lawmakers, along with several clergy members, are calling for an investigation into how police have responded to protesters following the Jason Stockley verdict.

In particular,  they're calling several arrests made at the Galleria on Saturday a "police riot."


READ: 'This is way wrong' Mother questions son's arrest at Galleria


State Representative Stacey Newman says she is outraged by what she has seen in her community.

“We are not anti-law enforcement, but what we are against is extreme police tactics that can only be explained as a police riot,” she said.

Police arrested 22 protesters Saturday, but St. Louis County police say they told the protesters three times to disperse.

But those arrested say there was little warning and police moved fast to take people into custody.  

Something garbled came across, wasn't sure what it was,” said Marjorie Theodore, whose son was arrested. “A police whistle, police rushed us and started grabbing people.”

“I have come to say enough is enough,” said Reverend Karen Anderson. “We pay the taxes which pay the salaries of those called to protect us. We are here to demand someone take the time to look at the practices of St. Louis County and the St. Louis Police Department.”

St. Louis County police released a statement saying officers have used "an incredible amount of discretion during these periods of civil unrest" and "citizens have been allowed to exercise their First Amendment rights.”

The St. Louis County Police Department has used an incredible amount of discretion during these periods of civil unrest.  Citizens have been allowed to exercise their first Amendment Rights; however, when those protests descend into criminal activity, law enforcement has no other choice but to intervene.

Any use of force that occurred at the Galleria Mall on Saturday, September 23, 2017, has been documented and will be reviewed as is the practice and policy of this department.

The individuals arrested and charged during this incident will be the responsibility of the judicial system. False narratives should not be purported without facts and is not helpful.

St. Louis County Executive Steve Stenger issued the following statement regarding the Saturday protest:

Police on Saturday performed their duty to the best of their ability under extremely difficult circumstances. Their job was especially challenging as the protest occurred in an enclosed space on private property.

A St. Louis County police spokesperson also said the least amount of force was used during the arrest. The spokesperson said officers did not use mace, munitions or any tear gas. Additionally, police say no mall customers were injured and they state they do not believe the protest remained peaceful.

Police and protesters have both been recording videos of the demonstrations.

Protesters say they are gathering videos together to be used as part of an investigation into the arrests.

Copyright 2017 KMOV (Meredith Corporation). All rights reserved

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