ST. LOUIS (KMOX) – Missouri Governor Eric Greitens met with the media Friday night after he spoke with law enforcement in north St. Louis.

A video of the Governor’s comments was posted on his Facebook page.

Greitens applauded the efforts of the St. Louis Police Department and the Missouri Highway Patrol, saying “they have been doing a fantastic job.”

He also talked about the protests that, so far, have been mostly peaceful.

“I was really heartened to see so many people who were upset by and hurt by this verdict who came out to peacefully protest…Unfortunately, we did have some people who decided to engage in acts of violence. And they decided to assault our law enforcement officers, they decided to vandalize property, and what you saw was that they were arrested,” Greitens said.

PHOTOS: First Day of Protests Begin Peaceful, Turn Violent

The Governor reiterated his intent to protect everyone’s right to peacefully protest and at the same time protect lives and property.

“Violence is not going to tolerated here in the state of Missouri,” Greitens said.

Protesters began taking to the streets of St. Louis Friday morning following Judge Timothy Wilson’s announcement that former St. Louis Police Officer Jason Stockley was not guilty in the shooting death of Anthony Lamar Smith.

Stockley’s trial was for the 2011 shooting death of drug suspect Anthony Lamar Smith. After a high-speed chase in North St. Louis in December 2011, Stockley shot Smith, killing him.

Stockley is white, and 24-year-old Smith was black.

Stockley waived his right to a jury trail. Closing arguments were made August 9.


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