Treatment of blacks in St. Louis prompts economic boycott

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ST LOUIS, MO - SEPTEMBER 18: 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) _ Several faith, business and civic leaders in St. Louis angered by the treatment of black people are launching an economic boycott campaign.

The Rev. Dinah Tatman is organizing the effort. She says African-Americans are subjected to excessive force by police, criminalization and harsh sentencing. She also cites efforts to diminish voting rights and political redistricting that has made it harder for black people to win elections.

“As of today Thursday, November 2, 2017 we will be withdrawing our financial support from any entities that do not respect us or our purchasing power. Instead we will be redistributing our monies to support and build our OWN businesses, schools and communities.”

St. Louis has been the site of numerous protests since Sept. 15, when a judge acquitted former police officer Jason Stockley of first-degree murder in the death of a black suspect.

The unrest has already had an economic impact with protests inside malls and on roads and highways, and cancellation of some events, including a U2 concert in September.