Protesters face off with police in St. Louis

Protesters gather outside of the courthouse, Friday, Sept. 15, 2017, in downtown St. Louis, after a judge found a white former St. Louis police officer, Jason Stockley, not guilty of first-degree murder in the death of a black man, Anthony Lamar Smith, who was fatally shot following a high-speed chase in 2011. (AP Photo/Jeff Roberson)

ST. LOUIS (AP) — Dozens of protesters are facing off with police in riot gear in downtown St. Louis after blocking a bus filled with officers.

The protests come after a judge announced Friday that Jason Stockley was not guilty of first-degree murder in the 2011 death of 24-year-old Anthony Lamar Smith.

Hundreds of protesters are marching through city streets.

A smaller group stood in front of a city bus filled with officers in riot gear, blocking it from moving forward. The bus backed up and protesters again tried to stop it, with a few throwing water bottles. The bus moved less than a block before police in riot gear began pushing back the crowd.

Stockley shot 24-year-old Anthony Lamar Smith five times after a high-speed chase. Prosecutors alleged Stockley planted a gun in Smith's car after he shot him.

Earlier in the day, one man was arrested during the protests.

St. Louis police say a man was arrested Friday for damaging a police vehicle as protesters marched down a St. Louis street. The suspect's name has not been released.

Hundreds of protesters blocked streets, marched and tried unsuccessfully to walk onto Interstate 64, where they were blocked from entering the highway by police.

Protestester began gathering at the Carnahan Courthouse in downtown St. Louis after a judge acquitted Stockley of first-degree murder in the shooting death of a black man following a 2011 chase.

Protesters shouted that the Friday verdict is unfair and that they want justice.

Circuit Judge Timothy Wilson issued his ruling Friday against 36-year-old Jason Stockley. Stockley could have been sentenced to up to life in prison without parole had he been convicted.

Stockley shot 24-year-old Anthony Lamar Smith five times after a high-speed chase. Stockley says he saw Smith holding a gun before the chase began, and that he felt he was in imminent danger when he opened fire.

Prosecutors alleged that Stockley planted a gun in Smith's car after he shot him. A gun in the car had the officer's DNA on it, but not Smith's.

Stockley left the police force in 2013 and moved to Houston.


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