Citing safety concerns for their fans, legendary rock band U2 has canceled a show in St. Louis after protests erupted on Friday following the acquittal of former St. Louis police officer Jason Stockley, in the 2011 death of Anthony Lamar Smith, an African-American motorist, Mediaite reports.
U2 Cancels As Protests Turn Violent
The protests grew increasingly violent, especially in the downtown and Central West End areas of the city.
At one point roughly 1,000 protesters surrounded the home of mayor Lyda Krewson’s home. As the evening wore on, the home sustained broken windows and property damage. Rocks were thrown and police used tear gas to disperse the crowd. And that culminated in the arrest of 32 protesters, with nine police officers injured during the melee.
The protests are expected to continue throughout the weekend, and several planned events have been canceled, including the U2 concert which was scheduled to be held Saturday at the Edward Jones Dome.
“We cannot in good conscience risk our fans’ safety by proceeding with tonight’s concert. As much as we regret having to cancel, we feel it is the only acceptable course of action in the current environment.”
The band also canceled due to concerns that law enforcement would be stretched too thin:
“We have been informed by the St. Louis Police Department that they are not in a position to provide the standard protection for our audience as would be expected for an event of this size. We have also been informed that local crowd security personnel would not be at full capacity.”
Stockley, who is white, was charged with first-degree murder in Smith’s death. During the case, prosecutors contended the former cop intended to kill Smith and alleged that he planted a gun in Smith’s car during the deadly encounter. On the police dashcam that recorded the incident, Stockley can be heard saying he was going to “kill this motherf*cker.” Not only that but the only DNA found on the gun was Stockley’s, Mediaite reports.
No wonder the protesters are upset. Looks like they may have plenty of reason to be.
Refunds will be available to anyone who purchased tickets for the concert.
You can find out more about the protests in the video below.
Featured image by USA Today via YouTube video