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St. Louis aldermen to hear from chief on protest response

ST. LOUIS – St. Louis aldermen are calling on the interim police chief to defend the department’s handling of protests that has drawn criticism, including a lawsuit.

The Board of Aldermen on Friday approved a resolution to have interim Chief Lawrence O’Toole appear before the Public Safety Committee. A police spokeswoman says O’Toole has not seen the resolution nor been invited to the committee.

A St. Louis judge in mid-September acquitted a white former police officer, Jason Stockley, in the 2011 shooting death of a black suspect, setting off protests around the region.

Some of the approximately 300 people arrested during protests have claimed that police taunted demonstrators and were too quick to use force, tear gas and pepper spray.

O’Toole has noted that more than 30 officers have been injured during protests.