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Ed Sheeran
Ed Sheeran performs a medley at the MTV Video Music Awards at The Forum on Sunday, Aug. 27, 2017, in Inglewood, Calif. (Photo by Chris Pizzello/Invision/AP)

Ed Sheeran and U2 canceled St. Louis shows after protests erupted over a police officer's acquittal


Updated September 16, 2017 06:44 PM EDT

A second major act has canceled a concert in downtown St. Louis amid protests over the acquittal of a former police officer who was charged with first-degree murder in the fatal shooting of a black man.

Singer-songwriter Ed Sheeran canceled his sold-out Sunday night show at the Scottrade Center due to safety concerns.

U2 canceled its Saturday night show in St. Louis after protests erupted over Friday's acquittal of a former police officer who was charged with first-degree murder in the fatal shooting of a black man.

"We have been informed by the St. Louis Police Department that they are not in a position to provide the standard protection for our audience as would be expected for an event of this size," U2 said in a joint statement with promoter Live Nation.

"In light of this information, we cannot in good conscience risk our fans’ safety by proceeding with tonight’s concert," they explained. "As much as we regret having to cancel, we feel it is the only acceptable course of action in the current environment."

Protests broke out within hours of St. Louis Circuit Judge Timothy Wilson acquitting former officer Jason Stockley in the fatal 2011 shooting of Anthony Lamar Smith.

People are protesting in St. Louis after a cop was acquitted of killing a black man

More than 20 people were arrested by Friday evening as protesters clashed with police. St. Louis police said 10 officers suffered injuries in the confrontations.

U2 said fans who purchased tickets will receive a full refund.

The St. Louis Symphony also canceled its sold-out performances of "Harry Potter and the Chamber of Secrets -- In Concert" because of safety concerns.

The Associated Press contributed to this report.

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