St. Louis police
(Photo: Scott Olson/Getty Images)

Over 80 people were arrested during the third night of protests in St. Louis after the acquittal of a police officer who had been facing a charge of first-degree murder.

According to acting Police Commissioner Larry O’Toole, “a concentrated area” was hit with vandalism, and several police officers were assaulted during the protests.

“Some criminals assaulted law enforcement officers and threw chemicals and rocks at them. All of the officers’ injuries were minor or moderate. All will be returned to duty soon,” O’Toole said at a media briefing on Sunday. “We’re in control, this is our city, and we’re going to protect it.”

St. Louis Mayor Lyda Krewson said that the vandalism was the work of “agitators” and noted that most of the protests had been nonviolent.

“We saw again that the vast majority of protestors are nonviolent,” Krewson said at the media briefing, adding, “The days have been calm, but the nights have been destructive. After the demonstrations, organizers announce that the daytime protests over. But a group of agitators stay behind apparently intent on breaking windows and destroying property. This is not acceptable.”

“We have work to do here in the city. We need more and better opportunities for all our citizens but destruction cannot be tolerated,” she said. “Law enforcement has my full support.”

Protests have been ongoing since St. Louis police officer Jason Stockley, who is white, was acquitted of murder in the 2011 fatal shooting of 24-year-old Anthony Lamar Smith, who was Black.