02:25 GMT +312 November 2019
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    Police wearing riot gear walk past Edward Jones Dome following an NFL football game between the St. Louis Rams and the Oakland Raiders

    Black Activists Unsurprised After Cops Arrested for Assaulting Innocents

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    Four police officers in St. Louis were arrested after they were indicted on federal civil rights charges for bragging about using force on protesters demonstrating against the acquittal of a former police officer in the city who killed 24-year-old Anthony Lamar Smith in 2011.

    One hundred and forty people were mass arrested on October 3, 2017, after Jason Stockley was found not guilty on charges of first-degree murder, Sputnik News reported. One of the people "kettled" by the police was himself an officer with the department, who was undercover.

    The three officers, Randy Hays, Christopher Myers and Dustin Boone, were indicted over the beating, and another officer — the girlfriend of Hays — lied about what happened to the FBI.

    ​"It was very hectic that night. It was the first evening following the acquittal," Reverend Darryl Gray, a long-time civil rights activist and candidate for alderman in the city's 18th ward, who was arrested in the demonstration, told Radio Sputnik's Loud & Clear. Gray joined the show with activist Kristine Hendrix.

    "Protest leaders like Kristine and I had already planned to do simultaneous protests that night, and we anticipated that the police would respond the way they did… because the governor had already flexed, he had already indicated that he was prepared to send troops into the city, there were already armored personnel carriers in the city, and the police, for days, had indicated that they would be on high alert," Gray told Loud & Clear hosts John Kiriakou and Brian Becker. 

    "We already knew the viciousness and the hatred and the racism that was within the St. Louis Police Department," Gray said, adding that violence was expected but they didn't think it would go as "far" as it did the night of the crackdown.

    Officers who surrounded the protesters, refusing them exit in a tactic referred to as "kettling," chanted "Whose streets? Our streets!" while detaining the group, in apparent mockery of the popular protest chant.

    Police involved in the beating of their undercover colleague exchanged text messages talking about wanting to "whoop some a**" and "beating the hell out of these s**theads once the sun goes down and nobody can tell us apart."

    "Black folks have been speaking out, and other oppressed communities have been speaking out and saying, ‘This is what's going on. This is how the police talk. The police have been infiltrated by racist people, including people who have affiliations with the KKK and other neo-Nazi groups,'" Hendrix said.

    "This isn't new. This has been going on for years, and it takes something like this in order for the public to believe us, to believe the things that we've been saying, to believe that we're not going out into the street and putting our bodies on the line for nothing," she added.

    The views and opinions expressed in the article do not necessarily reflect those of Sputnik.


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