U2 cancels St. Louis concert amid protests


U2 and Ed Sheeran have cancelled concert dates in St Louis over security concerns amid protests in the city after the acquittal of a white former police officer charged with murdering a black man, reports The Guardian.

Noisy demonstrators disrupted shopping at suburban malls and marched through a district of bars and restaurants on Saturday, but the protests were peaceful following sporadic vandalism and violence a night earlier.

"We have also been informed that local crowd security personnel would not be at full capacity".

After Friday's ruling, some 600 chanting protesters marched from the courthouse through downtown St. Louis, some of them holding "Black Lives Matter" signs.

Live Nation and U2 regrettably announce their St. Louis show scheduled for tonight, September 16, 2017 has been cancelled.

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Protests broke out in St. Louis starting on Friday following the verdict in the case of ex-police officer Jason Stockley, who was found not guilty in the murder of Anthony Lamar Smith.

Stockley had fired five shots at Smith, following a high speed police chase after he believed he witnessed the man engaging in a drug deal. Police accused the protestors of breaking the windows of the house and claimed one of their officers had to be taken to the hospital after someone hurled a brick at him.

Police were prepared for a second night of protests after Friday's demonstrations led to several clashes - including rocks thrown at a police auto and objects tossed at officers in riot gear - and culminated when protesters broke a window and spattered red paint on the home of Mayor Lyda Krewson.

On Saturday, U2 said of the decision to cancel their Saturday night show, "We can not in good conscience risk our fans' safety by proceeding with tonight's concert. As much as we regret having to cancel, we feel it is the only acceptable course of action in the current environment", they added.

Stockley, 36, shot Smith, 24, five times December 20, 2011 after a vehicle chase that followed a suspected drug deal. Prosecutors contended the officer planted the weapon.