St. Louis mayor says most demonstrations are peaceful; draws line at violence

ST. LOUIS, MO —St. Louis police say there were 33 arrests, 11 injured officers and property damage to Mayor Lyda Krewson's house during Friday protests.

They also say there was damage to two police vehicles, the St. Louis Public Library and 10 businesses as protesters marched downtown and in the Central West End.

St. Louis interim police Chief Lawrence O'Toole says Saturday evening that five officers were taken to hospitals after being hit with bottles or bricks. The arrests of protesters included many for failure to disperse, resisting and interfering.

Saturday evening, protesters staged a six-minute die-in to bring attention to the six years between suspect Anthony Lamar Smith's death in 2011 and Stockley's trial.

Mayor Lyda Krewson released this statement after the press conference:

"It may not look like it in the media, but yesterday's protests were mostly non-violent.

Unfortunately, we had incidents of sporadic violence and vandalism that will be the lasting images written about and played on television.

As I’ve said over the past several days, we will protect the rights of people to protest, demonstrate, and have their opinions heard. We draw the line at violence. We understand the desire to disrupt but we will not understand destruction or hurting people. We will protect all of our residents.

Thank you to law enforcement and all first responders for putting themselves on the line. And thank you to the protesters who remain non-violent and who discouraged others from acting violently.

As most of you know, a couple of concerts have been canceled this weekend. I am disappointed for those of you with tickets - however the issues being protested are real impediments to our success as a city.

The decision to cancel the concerts had to be made early. The police department is able to provide the standard level of protection, but with mandatory overtime the additional off-duty officers that would normally help out, were likely not available. The cancellation is disappointing for concert goers, but also for all of the folks who make a living working these events.

I encourage everyone to go about their lives. The balloon race is still on, libraries are open normal hours, and small business owners would love to see us."