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Police arrested 33 people after protests erupted in St. Louis over an officer's acquittal

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Updated September 16, 2017 09:27 PM EDT

St. Louis police said there were 33 arrests made during Friday night's protests.

"Many of the demonstrators were peaceful, however after dark, the agitators outnumbered the peaceful demonstrators and the unruly crowd became a mob," police said in a statement.

Eleven officers were injured during the protests and St. Louis interim police Chief Lawrence O'Toole said Saturday evening that five were taken to hospitals after being hit with bottles or bricks.

Beyond physical injuries, the protesters damaged two police vehicles, the St. Louis Public Library, 10 businesses and Mayor Lyda Krewson's house.

Updated September 15, 2017 12:27 PM EDT

Hundreds of protesters took to the streets of St. Louis to voice their dissent after a police officer was acquitted in the death of Antony Lamar Smith.

At least 30 protesters were arrested and 10 police officers were injured in the protests Friday night, according to ABC News.

Video footage showed law enforcement using tear gas to disperse the crowds.


Protesters gathered in St. Louis after the verdict.

A judge on Friday acquitted a former St. Louis police officer of shooting and killing a black man in 2011, quickly leading to protesters marching against the decision.

Jason Stockley, who is white, was acquitted of first-degree murder in the death of 24-year-old Anthony Lamar Smith following a high-speed chase.

“This court, in conscience, cannot say that the State has proven every element of murder beyond a reasonable doubt or that the State has proven beyond a reasonable doubt that the defendant did not act in self-defense,” St. Louis Circuit Judge Timothy Wilson wrote.

Wilson added that he was bound by the Code of Judicial Conduct to not be swayed by “partisan interests, public clamor or fear of criticism.”

Some Twitter users on Friday voiced support for Stockley’s acquittal, while others criticized Friday’s outcome.

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Stockley shot Smith five times and argued before his acquittal Friday that he believed he was in imminent danger as the latter was holding a gun.

Prosecutors countered that Stockley did not act in self-defense, arguing he instead planted a gun in Smith’s car after shooting him.

Stockley, 36, could have been sentenced to up to life in prison without parole before Friday’s result.

The former police officer moved to Houston after exiting the St. Louis police force in 2013, but his case remains a matter of controversy in his original home.

Activists in St. Louis threatened to engage in civil disobedience if Stockley were acquitted, including potential attempts at shutting down highways.

Barricades were erected on Aug. 28 around potential protest sites, including the St. Louis police headquarters, the courthouse where Stockley’s trial occurred and other recent areas of unrest.

A white police officer fatally shot Michael Brown, an unarmed 18-year-old black man, in 2014 in nearby Ferguson, Missouri.

Brown’s death led to widespread protests in the St. Louis area, with some of them erupting into violence.

Darren Wilson, the officer involved in Brown’s death, was not charged in the incident but later resigned.

The Associated Press contributed to this story.

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