Police, city leaders hope talks with protesters lead to peace

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CLAYTON, MO (KTVI) - Police officials and protest leaders have been holding meeting discussing what will happen after the grand jury decision for the past few weeks.

The Mayor of St. Louis, the head of the Highway Patrol and the County Executive are hoping that talking leads to peace. The three men say in recent weeks five meetings were held between some protest leaders and police commanders.

The protestors submitted a list called, "Rules of Engagement." while officials call it rules of conduct, adding it's not a binding agreement but points of discussion. The unified command agreed to twelve of the 19 points.  They could not agree to all because that would limit officers' abilities to keep people safe. One point everyone agreed on was, "The first priority shall be preservation of human life."  Officials insist they were not negotiating, just takling.

"The fact we can sit around a table and have a conversation with those who have different opinions is why I have confidence we will come through this better and not worse." said St. Louis County Executive Charlie Dooley.

"Our job and our prayer is that at the end of each day everyone goes home safe, police protesters and people who not involved in the protest." said St. Louis Mayor Francis Slay.

They also want business owners to know their property will be protected.

State Senator Jamilah Nasheed, a protester sympathizer, said she's very confident demonostrators will remain peaceful. She expects some to protest and protect property at the same time.

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