St. Louis mayor asks residents to come together

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ST. LOUIS (AP) _St. Louis Mayor Lyda Krewson says she hopes city residents will come together despite their differences over the acquittal of a white former police officer in the shooting death of a black man.

Krewson says in a statement early Friday that she’s praying for the loved ones of 24-year-old Anthony Lamar Smith, who was shot to death in 2011. She also offers prayers for police, the judge who issued the verdict and “citizens who find no comfort, or justice.”

The mayor encouraged St. Louis residents to show each other compassion and recognize that they are all “rise and fall together.”

The statement comes as protesters increased near the courthouse in downtown St. Louis where the verdict was announced. Police were blocking streets near the courthouse so protesters could march.