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>> If we can't have it,>> Shut it down.>> Protest in the streets of St. Louis on Friday, after a white cop was acquitted of murdering a black motorist. A Missouri judge finding former St. Louis police officer, Jason Stockley, not guilty of criminal charges tied to a shooting that followed a mile-long police chase.
Officials had already ramped up security ahead of the verdict in anticipation of potentially racially-charged unrest. Reuters correspondent, Valerie Volcovici, is in St. Louis.>> There have been some skirmishes. There was a pack of about 50 police officers on bicycles that came through the crowds. And there were some confrontations between the protesters and those police officers.
I, myself, saw about five or six people being sprayed. And they were pouring milk in their eyes to try to regain their vision. And there was no violence. There was just some heated arguments, some confrontations. And they were sprayed. But so far we haven't seen any violence yet.
>> Stockley and his partner tried to arrest 24-year-old Anthony Lamar Smith for a suspected drug deal. A recording inside the cop car during pursuit captured Stockley saying he was gonna kill this mother
rosecutors accused Stockley of premeditated murder for shooting Smith five times at close range, saying he then placed a .38 caliber revolver in Smith's vehicle.
The police officer's DNA was found on the gun, the suspect's was not. Stockley's lawyers said the cop acted in self-defense, shooting Smith when he believed the suspect was reaching for a weapon. In rendering the verdict Friday, the Missouri judge said the state failed to prove its case beyond a reasonable doubt.
The St. Louis suburb of Ferguson was the scene of massive demonstrations and arson in 2014, after a white police officer killed 18-year-old unarmed Michael Brown. A nationwide protest movement under the banner Black Lives Matter, galvanized in recent years in response to several high profile killings of unarmed African Americans by police officers in US cities.