UPDATE: St. Louis voters approve police pay raise measure
ST. LOUIS (AP) — St. Louis voters have approved a half-cent sales tax increase to fund pay raises for police, even amid lingering anger at police over handling of recent protests.
About three-fifths of voters supported Proposition P on Tuesday.
The Sept. 15 acquittal of former police officer Jason Stockley in the shooting death of a black suspect led to angry demonstrations. Nearly two months later, protests continue, though the size of the gatherings has declined.
More than 300 people have been arrested since the demonstrations began, with several alleging officers used unnecessary tear gas, pepper spray and force.
Supporters of Proposition P, including Mayor Lyda Krewson, say the tax hike is necessary to pay competitive wages to the approximate 1,200 police officers along with firefighters.
Opponents of the ballot measure questioned if police deserve a raise given the recent allegations of misconduct.