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Protest begins outside St. Louis police department

ST. LOUIS (AP) – Several hundred protesters are silently demonstrating in front of the St. Louis Police Department, beginning a third day of protests over the acquittal of a white former police officer charged in the shooting death of a black suspect.

Authorities closed off several blocks around the police headquarters Sunday afternoon in anticipation of the protests, following two days of nonviolent marches and two nights of violent skirmishes that resulted in more than 40 arrests.

Friday and Saturday protests largely consisted of nonviolent marches in downtown St. Louis, in suburban shopping malls and in the Delmar Loop and Central West End entertainment districts.

University City police said 23 businesses and five police vehicles were damaged in the Loop area Saturday night after things turned violent. The nonviolent group of several hundred had disbanded, then several dozen people gathered and eventually began throwing items, police reported.