Police officers in St. Louis reportedly chanted, “Whose streets, our streets,” after arresting protesters early Monday morning, according to a video and several accounts from journalists on the ground.
The video shows a large group of what appears to be police officers clad in navy blue uniforms chanting, “Whose streets, our streets,” surrounded by police cruisers.
David Carson, a photojournalist for the St. Louis Post-Dispatch, tweeted around 1 a.m. Monday that he witnessed the officers chanting after arresting dozens of violent protesters.
Police just chanted "Whose Streets, our streets" on Tucker Blvd after making arrests
— David Carson (@PDPJ) September 18, 2017
Carson added that he was able to confirm this with three reporters, five civilians, and two police officers. A police commander on the scene reportedly told Carson that he thought the chanting was “unacceptable” and would handle the issue, even though he did not witness the chanting himself.
Many Black Lives Matter protesters and other demonstrators have used the phrase, according to the Washington Post.
The St. Louis Metropolitan Police Department gave protesters “multiple warnings to disperse” at the intersection of Washington Avenue and North Tucker Boulevard around 11:20 p.m. Sunday and arrested those who did not leave.
Authorities say some protesters became violent, smashing windows and overturning trash cans, while other rioters threw rocks and splashed chemicals at police dressed in riot gear.
Protesters say police were overly aggressive and kept demonstrators from leaving the area because they were surrounded by cops.
Police made more than 80 arrests by the end of Sunday night heading into Monday morning, and several officers suffered “moderate or minor” injuries, Interim Police Chief Lawrence O’Toole said.
O’Toole referred to the arrested protesters as “criminals” who will be “prosecuted to the fullest extent of the law.”
“These criminals that we’ve arrested should be held accountable and prosecuted to the fullest extent of the law,” he said. “We’re in control. This is our city, and we’re going to protect it.”
The protests in St. Louis began Friday when a judge ruled that former police officer Jason Stockley, a white male, was not guilty of murder charges related to the 2011 shooting death of Anthony Lamar Smith, a black male.