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U2 Cancels St. Louis Show Amid Protests

17 September 2017

Washington, Sep 17 (IANS) The Metropolitan Police Department for the midwestern United States city of St. Louis said nine of its officers were injured during protests over the acquittal of a white police officer in the 2011 shooting of a black suspect.

Smith was shot 5 times in his vehicle after trying to escape from Stockley and his partner who were following him on an alleged drug deal.

U2 were set to perform at St. Louis' Dome on Saturday night, but they were forced to cancel the performance in light of the violent protests that are occurring around the city.

The protests began shortly after the early morning verdict, and for most of the day consisted of a large group of demonstrators walking through the city, blocking some intersections and highway ramps.

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Circuit Judge Timothy Wilson issued his ruling against 36-year-old Jason Stockley. Smith was killed after a high-speed chase with police. The former policeman believed Smith was armed, defence attorneys said.

Stockley was accused of planting a gun in Smith's auto but claimed in his testimony that he did this in self-defense.

"I'm not going to stand here and say 'no justice, no peace.' My soul is burning, my heart is broken. This mob was intent on destroying or damaging property, assaulting police officers and setting fires", he said.

Stockley left the police force in 2013 and moved to Houston. Judge Timothy Wilson wrote that "this court, in conscience, can not say that the State has proven every element of murder beyond a reasonable doubt or has proven beyond a reasonable doubt that the defendant did not act in self-defense", the Associated Press reports.

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The clashes erupted after a Missouri judge acquitted a former police officer of murder in the 2011 fatal shooting of a black man suspected of drug dealing. Stockley's DNA was found on the gun, according to court documents, and Smith's was not.

There was no indication that Krewson was inside the home at the time, the newspaper reported.

Missouri Gov. Eric Greitens (R) activated the Missouri National Guard on Thursday, prior to the verdict, in anticipation of an acquittal, CNN reports.

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U2 Cancels St. Louis Show Amid Protests