White 'allies' march against verdict in St. Louis
ST. LOUIS (AP) — Hundreds of mostly white protesters gathered Thursday in downtown St. Louis and marched, chanting "white silence is violence" and "no justice, no profits."
The protest was the latest of several since a judge on Friday announced a not-guilty verdict for a white former St. Louis police officer charged in the shooting death of a black suspect. The gathering had been designed to show white support for the protesters' cause.
Demonstrators marched down a busy street to Busch Stadium about an hour before singer Billy Joel was scheduled to perform in front of an estimated 50,000 fans. Metal barriers had been set up around the baseball stadium, and the marchers stood outside the venue chanting.
There was a brief skirmish when it appeared some protesters attempted to get through the barriers.
Earlier in the day, a couple hundred demonstrators blocked traffic for about half an hour on the western edge of St. Louis in an unannounced protest.
The St. Louis Post-Dispatch reports the protesters briefly blocked traffic near the southwest corner of Forest Park Thursday afternoon. Police formed a line to keep the protesters from walking onto Interstate 64.
Marcher Jennifer Sherer of St. Louis said the city remains badly segregated and historically the racial divide has been intentional.
Protest leader Rev. Darryl Gray said the group will continue to disrupt the economy and the peace until its leaders see changes in the St. Louis Police Department.