Protests may affect St. Louis vote to give raise to police

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Demonstrators protest outside of the St. Louis city jail following the arrest of 123 people yesterday protesting the acquittal of former St. Louis police officer Jason Stockley on September 18, 2017 in St. Louis, Missouri. This is the fourth day of protests in the city following the acquittal of Stockley, who had been charged with first-degree murder last year following the 2011 on-duty shooting of Anthony Lamar Smith. (Photo by Scott Olson/Getty Images)

ST. LOUIS (AP) – Voters in St. Louis will soon be asked to weigh in on a half-cent sales tax increase that would be used to give officers a raise.

The St. Louis Post-Dispatch reports that the special election’s timing could make its passage a challenge as St. Louis police face criticism and lawsuits over its handling of recent protests. The protests followed last month’s acquittal of a former St. Louis officer who fatally shot a man.

Protesters allege officers use heavy-handed tactics during demonstrations. Police officials last week denied violating protesters’ rights.

Mayor Lyda Krewson says investing money in police officers is key to bettering the department. The sales tax increase would also trigger an increase in the business use tax, which will bring money that Krewson wants spent on crime prevention.
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Information from: St. Louis Post-Dispatch