This past Friday, Judge Timothy Wilson made a landmark ruling in St. Louis, Missouri. In the case of former St. Louis police officer Jason Stockley, Judge Wilson was prepared to break the tension that millions have been suffering through. Stockley was charged with first-degree murder after shooting a suspected heroin dealer Anthony Lamar Smith in 2011. Judge Wilson ruled in favor of law enforcement and allowed Stockley to go free. This has thrown the anti-police activists into a rage that is shaking St. Louis to its core.
Although thousands of activists and Black Lives Matter protestors urged Judge Wilson to rule in their favor, the judge decided to side with the St. Louis police force. His not-guilty verdict was accompanied with 30-pages of details explaining his decision and the legal reasons he chose to favor the St. Louis police department.
First and foremost, Judge Wilson had to examine and review only the details and evidence presented in the case. He could not go by the anger and outrage that drove many of the people who opposed his decision. Judge Wilson said it was his duty to now play into the political atmosphere of this case and to review only the facts.
But the facts were not popular. And now St. Louis has erupted into localized protests.
Three protests have happened after the verdict already. And on Friday morning, the protestors went somewhere where they knew they’d be heard.
They appeared on the doorstep of Mayor Lyda Krewson’s home. They wanted the local politicians they elected to hear their pain and complaints.
Then the next day on Saturday morning, the protestors came to the Delmar Loop. On Sunday, they went to their favorite shopping malls and shopping centers to protest and reach the people.
Police are overwhelmed with the outraged St. Louis population. Small groups of activists have taken over the peaceful protests. And they are turning the streets of St. Louis into violent places.
With the police force effectively disarmed, they cannot deal with the protestors. The groups are causing property damage and disruption of the peace in St. Louis.
In the Delmar Loop for instance, protestors damaged two dozen small businesses and shops. Their windows were shattered and smashed because the people of St. Louis didn’t agree with Judge Wilson’s not-guilty verdict.
On Monday, protestors spread word that they would return to Delmar Loop and cause more destruction. That’s when shop owners got scared. Their neighboring shops had been destroyed and ravaged, but they did not want the same fate for themselves. People boarded up their windows and protected their property – as if to protect themselves from a hurricane. The protestors were as destructive as Irma or Harvey.
But in preparation of the protests, the University City Public Works Department made some moves. And what they did had most people scratching their heads in confusion.
They removed two things from the street – and you can see it missing from the photos. And because those things are missing, St. Louis is in a lot of trouble.
The public works department removed all the loose bricks and cobblestones from their sidewalks. They didn’t want to give protestors ammunition to use to damage shops and small businesses.