Police and protesters clash in St. Louis

Violence erupts on the streets of St. Louis after a white former policeman was acquitted of murdering a black suspect.

STORY: Police fired tear gas and rubber bullets during clashes with protesters in St Louis early on Saturday (September 16) after a white former policeman was acquitted of murdering a black suspect.

A peaceful rally over Friday's not guilty verdict turned violent after police confronted a small group of demonstrators - three years after the shooting of another black suspect in the nearby suburb of Ferguson stirred nationwide anger and debate.

Protesters burned an American flag. A protester named John Theodore said, "The judge basically told police officers, every police officer in this country, hey, you can murder someone as long as you say the magic words 'I feared for my life.' That ain't gonna fly."

Officers fired tear gas as people broke windows at a library and two restaurants and threw bricks and water bottles at officers. Protesters also threw rocks and paint at the home of St. Louis Mayor Lyda Krewson, said Acting Police Commissioner Lawrence O'Toole.

Nine city officers and a state trooper were injured and at least 23 people were taken into custody, he said.

Former city policeman Jason Stockley, 36, was found not guilty of the first-degree murder of Anthony Lamar Smith, 24, shot to death on Dec. 20, 2011.

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