There has been more unrest in St. Louis—this time over the shooting by police of an 18-year-old black man who they say pointed a gun at them. Late Wednesday, police arrested nine people and used tear gas to disperse demonstrators who threw bottles and bricks at them.
Wednesday’s demonstration was one of several across the city following the police’s shooting of Mansur Ball-Bey, and it comes as the St. Louis area recovers from the unrest that surrounded the first anniversary of the killing of Michael Brown, a black 18-year-old who was killed by a white officer.
At a news conference Wednesday night, Police Chief Sam Dotson said two officers, both white, were serving a search warrant Wednesday at a home in a neighborhood the St. Louis Post-Dispatch describes as “a tough block.” Two men—one of them Ball-Bey—fled the home. As they fled, Dotson said, Ball-Bey turned and pointed a gun at the officers who shot him. Ball-Bey died at the scene, he said. He said police were looking for the second suspect.
Protesters quickly took to the streets, blocking an intersection. Dotson said they threw glass bottles and bricks at them, and refused to leave. The chief said police first used inert gas to disperse the crowds, but that did not have an effect. Officers then used tear gas to clear the protesters, he said.
Nine people were arrested and they face charges of resisting arrest and impeding the flow of traffic, Dotson said.
Dotson said there were reports late Wednesday of businesses being looted and fires set. He called the incidents “acts of violence directed at not only … police officers but the neighborhood.”
Those observing the protests told local media the police response was too aggressive.
“There has to be a better way, but the better way is not to terrorize an already terrorized community,” the Rev. Renita Lamkin told the Post-Dispatch. “How they deal with the situation is classist and dehumanizing. The people here don't matter as much to them.”