‘Peaceful’ St. Louis Protest Ends in Arrest

AP Photo/Eric Kayne
AP Photo/Eric Kayne

Protesters tried to shut down a St. Louis mall Sunday night. When police arrived and tried to usher them out, some protesters started running through a Macy’s store, knocking over displays of merchandise. One person was arrested.

The protest began around 5:00 p.m. at the Galleria in the St. Louis suburb of Richmond Heights. A group of about 40 protesters, some wearing masks, marched through the mall chanting slogans such as “Hands up. Don’t shoot” and “I can’t breathe.”

As the group circulated through the mall, some entered stores yelling and chanting, “Shut it down!” until the stores responded by closing their gates. Protesters could then be heard chanting, “We shut you down!”

Eventually, the group of protesters staged a die-in, draping themselves across the floor of the mall. Mall security asked the protesters to leave the mall, which is private property. When the protesters refused, security called the local Richmond Heights police for help. Police arrived and began ushering out the protesters. At that point, as video shows, some protesters began pointing at the police and chanting, “NYPD, KKK, how many kids did you kill today?”

As they were exiting, at least two individuals who were part of the protest began running through a Macy’s store and knocked over displays of perfume and makeup. One 17-year-old was arrested at the scene.

Rumors reportedly circulated on social media that shots had been fired inside the mall. Local news outlets, however, stated that those reports were not true, though it did confirm that some shoppers were ushered into protective areas out of concern for their safety.

Malls have increasingly become targets for protesters. In Madison, WI, a similar protest took place at East Towne Mall on Saturday, shutting down traffic and staging a die-in inside the mall’s food court. Another protest earlier this month partially shut down the Mall of America. The city attorney is now considering filing a lawsuit against the group that organized the protest.

Russia Today published video of the protest, which it described as a “peaceful demonstration.”


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