St. Louis police union headquarters vandalized
ST. LOUIS (AP) — The Latest on protests in St. Louis over a judge's acquittal of a former white police officer who fatally shot a black suspect (all times local):
Officials with the St. Louis Police Officers' Association say vandals broke windows and spray-painted graffiti at the union's headquarters.
The vandals also damaged a private security vehicle between late Monday and early Tuesday.
The St. Louis Post-Dispatch reports union leaders responded with a message on plywood covering the broken windows: "We're open, We won't be defeated."
The vandalism comes after days of protests following the acquittal of former St. Louis police officer Jason Stockley in the 2011 shooting death of Anthony Lamar Smith.
Union business manager Jeff Roorda says the organization interpreted some of the graffiti left behind as threatening Stockley's safety. He says stories about the union collecting food and water for officers preceded that vandalism.
Roorda says the vandals have "declared war on the police," noting 32 officers were injured in the protests.
St. Louis police say they're investigating whether an officer responded to a protester's Facebook post with a meme equating the Black Lives Matter movement with domestic terrorism.
City resident Lisa Clancy said Wednesday she reported the meme to police after it was posted in response to her reflections about participating in a Friday night protest in the Central West End district.
Protests have followed last week's acquittal of white former St. Louis police officer Jason Stockley for the fatal shooting of 24-year-old black drug suspect Anthony Lamar Smith in 2011.
Clancy said her Facebook posting prompted "hateful" responses Saturday including the anti-Black Lives Matter meme. She said a Google search suggested the poster could be a police officer.
St. Louis Mayor Lyda Krewson said during a news conference Tuesday that she disagreed with the meme's message.
Another demonstration is expected in suburban St. Louis to protest a judge's acquittal of a white former police officer who fatally shot a black suspect.
Protesters say they will take to the streets again Wednesday to dispute the ruling Friday that found Jason Stockley not guilty of first-degree murder in the 2011 fatal shooting of 24-year-old Anthony Lamar Smith.
Demonstrations since Friday have targeted affluent areas in and around St. Louis and places known to be economic drivers. Organizers say the goal is to draw attention to their cause by disrupting business. There were no protests Tuesday.
The protests have been largely nonviolent, but there was some vandalism over the weekend after peaceful organized protests ended.
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