ST. LOUIS (KMOX) – Drivers in south St. Louis bore the brunt of the on-going anger among Stockley verdict protestors Thursday night.
Once again breaking out chants of “Whose streets, our streets!” and “No justice, no profits!”, among others, the demonstrators filed out into the intersection of Hampton and Chippewa at the heart of the evening rush hour, completing shutting it down on several occasions lasting a total of about an hour.
Soon their voices were joined by the angry honking of horns from drivers trying to get home.
Among those helping to organize and lead the demonstration was Missouri State Representative Bruce Franks Jr. (D-78).
He was asked if the protests might continue on for weeks or even months.
“Months…years…whatever we need to do,” he replied. “They don’t understand. For anybody who thinks this could just possibly go away, they’re sadly mistaken.”
As a group of a little over 100 people marched around the Hampton Village shopping complex, stores like Schnucks, Target and Walgreens were forced to temporarily lock their doors.
With police rerouting traffic, the group eventually marched north up Hampton to the St. Louis Police Officers Association hall, where they called for the ouster of police union business manager Jeff Roorda, loudly labelling him a “racist”.
They also used the occasion to call for a boycott of the Galleria mall, where police and protestors violently clashed late last month, as well as all area Schnucks supermarkets.
Children as young as 2 and 3 were urged to get on a megaphne and shout out “Black lives matter, blue lives murder!” — to which the crowd of protestors roared.
Among those joining the marchers was 15th Ward city alderwoman Megan Green, whose measure that would restrict police response to demonstrations comes up for a first reading during Friday’s Board of Aldermen meeting.
“We need to get some policies in place that say ‘We’re not going to indiscriminately tear gas people, we’re not going to be macing people while they’re handcuffed on the ground, we’re not going to using kettling to make it so that people can’t disperse’,” she explained concerning Board Bill 134.
Meantime, a small group of 10-12 counter-protestors followed the group up and down Hampton, displaying black-and-white American flags with a very distinctive blue stripe down the middle.
“I completely support their right to protest, you know, I think that they should have it,” one flag holder, who declined to give her name, told KMOX News. “I just happen to think all lives matter but the reason I’m here is just to show my support for police.”
There were some tense moments as protestors marched up and down Hampton — a motorcycle that zipped through the crowd backfired, causing some to momentarily think it was gunfire.
Another car aggressively pulled through the Hampton-Chippewa intersection while it was being blocked by protestors, causing a brief uproar but no injuries.
In the end no arrests were made and demonstrators made plans to gather in Ferguson at 6:30 Friday night.