St. Louis was rocked Monday by a third consecutive night of riots organized and carried out by Black Lives Matter after a white cop was acquitted Friday of first-degree murder in the death of a notorious black criminal.
At time of writing, ABC News was reporting that “more than 160 people have now been now arrested, as police have been aggressively arresting more people to curb property destruction and police assaults.”
The virulently racist Black Lives Matter movement, which, along with its Antifa allies should be designated a terrorist organization, has long welcomed the deaths of blacks at the hands of law enforcement, treating their passing as a profit center and recruitment opportunity. Supporters of the movement riot on cue nowadays to advance the cause, and loot stores, advancing social justice with each new flat-screen television they liberate from their oppressors. Strangely missing from the movement’s mission statement are its commitment to ramping up anti-police hysteria, and boosting minority resentment of white Americans whom they blame for more or less all problems in their personal lives and in the country.
The “mostly peaceful” protesters, as the mainstream media consistently describes left-wing rioters, took to the streets of the Missouri city Friday after former St. Louis police officer Jason Stockley, 36, a white man, was found not guilty of first-degree murder in the Dec. 20, 2011, shooting death of drug dealer Anthony Lamar Smith, 24, a black man, after a high-speed chase and crash. Stockley said he fired on Smith repeatedly in self-defense. At the time, Smith was on parole for convictions related to drug-trafficking, theft, and illegal gun possession. A bag of heroin was found in the car Smith was driving.
According to police, protests Friday started out peaceful but were “no longer peaceful” as of the next night. Over the weekend a minimum of 32 people were arrested for blocking highways, damaging property, throwing bricks at police and rocks and red paint at the house of the city’s mayor, Lyda Krewson, a left-wing Democrat who makes excuses for the rioters.
Krewson green-lighted further violence by saying she was “appalled” by what happened to dead heroin pusher Smith and is “sobered by this outcome.” The useful idiot added, “I will continue my work to create a more equitable community.” Members of the thousand-strong angry mob departed only after cops tear-gassed them.
John Sexton traced the march’s degeneration into mob violence over the course of Sunday. He noted the change in tone used by police on Twitter over a two-and-half hour period.
From @SLMPD at 7:27 p.m.: “The demonstrators have returned back to police headquarters on Olive where they continue their peaceful demonstration. #STLVerdict[.]”
At 8:06 p.m.: “Group near HQ throwing debris @ officers following a traffic stop. If group cannot be peaceful, they will be ordered to leave. #STLVerdict[.]”
At 9:34 p.m.: “Agitators are breaking multiple windows at Olive & 10th. Officers are heading to scene. #STLVerdict[.]”
And at 9:43 p.m.: “We have reports of significant property damage in Downtown #STL. Will update soon. #STLVerdict[.]”
It was “a repeat of the pattern we’ve seen over and over,” Sexton wrote. “A peaceful protest march that lasts through part of the day followed by a late-night turn to rioting and vandalism.”
Authorities vowed to act against lawbreakers.
“People setting out to do damage are being arrested and these criminals we’ve arrested should be held accountable and prosecuted to the fullest extent of the law,” St. Louis Interim Police Chief Lawrence O’Toole said early Monday.
“We’re in control,” he said. “This is our city and we’re going to protect it.”
In a delightful, ironic role reversal, some police patrolling the city reportedly chanted the radical battle cry, “Whose streets? Our streets.”
Missouri Gov. Eric Greitens (R) won his post partly by slamming inept left-winger, then-Gov. Jay Nixon (D), for allowing the demonstrations following the Aug. 9, 2014, death of Michael Brown in nearby Ferguson to spiral out of control.
“I will protect people’s constitutional right to peacefully protest, but violence will not be tolerated,” said the governor, who activated the National Guard to deal with the left-wing mayhem. “We will protect people’s lives, homes, and communities.”
Stockley maintained his innocence and appealed for calm.
“I can feel for and I understand what the family is going through, and I know everyone wants someone to blame, but I’m just not the guy,” said Stockley, who left the St. Louis Metropolitan Police Department in August 2013. Not long after, the weak-kneed members of the St. Louis police board threw away $900,000 of taxpayers’ money by settling a wrongful death lawsuit with Smith’s survivors.
Stockley waived his right to a jury trial. The trial judge, St. Louis Circuit Judge Timothy Wilson, found prosecutors did not meet their evidentiary burden for the first-degree murder charge or even for a lesser offense such as involuntary manslaughter because they failed to prove beyond a reasonable doubt that Stockley’s “use of force was not justified in self-defense.”
Prosecutors claimed at the trial that got underway Aug. 1 that Stockley planted a revolver in Smith’s car to justify the shooting, but that gun did not appear in any of the video footage taken by multiple cameras at the scene of the incident.
The gun in question was too large, the judge found, for the accused to have hidden it from the various cameras. Nor did the prosecution adequately account for the wound Smith received as he sat inside the vehicle on the driver’s side at the time of death. Because the wound was on the lower left abdomen, it is possible Smith was reaching for something to his right, the judge determined.
The fact that Stockley’s, not Smith’s, DNA was found on the gun, doesn’t prove Smith failed to touch the gun, Wilson found. Besides, not too many drug pushers are unarmed.
“An urban heroin dealer not in possession of a firearm would be an anomaly,” the judge indicated.
Wilson rejected the government’s case, saying it was “not supported by the evidence.” “This court … is simply not firmly convinced of the defendant’s guilt,” Wilson wrote in a 30-page ruling. “Agonizingly, this court has (pored) over the evidence again and again.”
Authorities initially declined to pursue the case, but in May 2016 Stockley was charged with first-degree murder at a time when prosecutors were being pressured by the U.S. Department of Justice, then controlled by Democrats, to put the hurt on cops. The Democratic Party, through the DNC, has officially endorsed Black Lives Matter, whose members demand the murder of police officers and who claim police death squads wander the fruited plain in search of black victims.
President Barack Hussein Obama and both of his attorneys general, Eric Holder and Loretta Lynch, were perfectly content to sacrifice cops like Stockley on the altar of left-wing identity politics. They wanted payback not justice, which helps to explain why the Obama administration did not enforce civil rights laws when white Americans were the alleged victims.
The Rev. Jesse Lee Peterson, a black preacher, said angry black activists don’t care about facts.
The acquittal of Stockley gave Black Lives Matter license to riot and assault police. What began as a protest march erupted with a wild mob tearing through downtown St. Louis and through the city’s affluent areas. Protesters said they wanted whites to feel the pain.
Protesters burned American flags, damaged police cruisers and destroyed businesses. At least 10 officers were assaulted with bricks and bottles … The violence caused local businesses to cancel major venues. Protesters also temporarily shut down a major mall in St. Louis. They chanted, “You kill one of us, we kill your economy,” and they carried Black Lives Matter signs.
Black leaders don’t want peace, Peterson said. “They identify more with Black Lives Matter than they do with decent whites and police. They don’t want a solution; they want revenge against whites.”
Peterson is correct.
“Revenge against whites” is one of the key animating principles of the American Left today.
And so when opportunities arise to make whites pay for wrongs supposedly done to blacks, the Left will continue to be there, throwing gasoline on the fire.