St. Louis police union headquarters vandalized

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ST. LOUIS – Officials with the St. Louis Police Officers’ Association say vandals broke windows and spray-painted graffiti at the union’s headquarters.

The vandals also damaged a private security vehicle between late Monday and early Tuesday.

The St. Louis Post-Dispatch reports union leaders responded with a message on plywood covering the broken windows: “We’re open, We won’t be defeated.”

The vandalism comes after days of protests following the acquittal of former St. Louis police officer Jaso Stockley in the 2011 shooting death of Anthony Lamar Smith.

Union business manager Jeff Roorda says the organization interpreted some of the graffiti left behind as threatening Stockley’s safety. He says stories about the union collecting food and water for officers preceded that vandalism.

Roorda says the vandals have “declared war on the police,” noting 32 officers were injured in the protests.