Fire set outside St. Louis police headquarters amid racial injustice protest

Police say no one was hurt and 2 people who helped start the fire were chased down and caught.

Sam Masterson
September 24, 2020 - 11:52 am
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ST. LOUIS (KMOX/AP) - About 100 protesters gathered in front of St. Louis Metropolitan Police Headquarters showing solidarity with others across the country who demonstrated over the decision not to charge Kentucky police officers for Breonna Taylor’s death.

A grand jury returned three charges of wanton endangerment Wednesday against one former police officer for shooting into a home next to Taylor’s with people inside. The FBI is still investigating potential violations of federal law in connection with the raid at Taylor’s home on March 13.

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A chair was set on fire outside the police building in downtown St. Louis around 11 p.m. and officer who went outside with a fire extinguisher had water bottles and other liquids thrown at them, police say. 

No one was hurt, but a 19- and 22-year-old were arrested for setting the small fire after trying to run from officers. Police are looking for others who also set fires. 

Prior to the protests, city crews put up barricades around city hall and by police headquarters. 

Related: Ex-officer charged with wanton endangerment in deadly shooting of Breonna Taylor

Florissant Police say they arrested six protesters after they refused to disperse from in front of the police department in north St. Louis County Wednesday night.

Police say the demonstrators blocked the road and refused to leave after three orders from police. The police Facebook posting says as officers were making the arrests, a protester threw a large loud firework at them. 

No one was injured. One protester is charged with resisting arrest the other five face peace disturbance charges.

ExpectUs is holding a candlelight vigil tonight outside St. Louis Police department headquarters to remember the life of Taylor. It starts at 6 p.m. 

Hundreds of demonstrators chanted Taylor’s name and marched in cities including New York, Washington, D.C., Philadelphia, Las Vegas and Portland, Oregon. People gathered in downtown Chicago's Millennium Park, chanting demands for justice as drivers on Michigan Avenue honked their horns. Police in Atlanta unleashed chemical agents and made arrests after some protesters tried to climb on a SWAT vehicle. In Minnesota and Wisconsin, marchers peacefully blocked highway traffic.

In Louisville, the mayor said one of the wounded officers was treated and released with leg wound, while the other was shot in the abdomen and doing well after surgery. Larynzo D. Johnson, 26, was charged with two counts of assault on a police officer and multiple charges of wanton endangerment of police officers.

Police also said they arrested 127 people after what began as peaceful protests. Officers declared an unlawful assembly after they said fires were set in garbage cans and several vehicles were damaged. A police statement also described the “looting” of several stores.

KMOX's Michael Calhoun and Brian Kelly contributed to this report.

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