Police officers in St. Louis arrested approximately 120 protesters who were blocking traffic on a highway Tuesday night. Protests in the city have been a regular occurrence since former police officer Jason Stockley was acquitted for murder.
The total number of protesters was not released by the police, however a city alderman spoke with reporters and stated that at least 126 had been arrested, as reported by the St. Louis Post-Dispatch. Drivers in the city had been warned of the protest, and the police cleared the protesters out by 8 pm (CDT).
The police made the group of protesters get off the road, had them lie on the ground, then handcuffed them while they waited for police vans to pick them all up.
A Missouri State Representative, Bruce Franks Jr., appears to be among those arrested at the protest. Franks has participated in several of the protests recently.
We getting locked up!
— Bruce Franks Jr (@brucefranksjr) October 4, 2017
This mass arrest is the second since Stockley was acquitted for fatally shooting Anthony Lamar Clark. The first was September 17, in what is being called a “kettling” operation, which led to many misconduct lawsuits from those arrested.
A legal observer for the National Lawyers Guild, Steven Hoffman, was there to monitor police behavior during the mass arrest. Hoffman states that the police didn’t use any chemical agents, according to Post-Dispatch. This detail is of utmost importance because the protesters are claiming that the police used chemicals, like pepper spray.
According to Post-Dispatch, no lawsuits have been filed from Tuesday night’s protesters.
Franks is a Berniecrat, a term used for those democrats in office who have expressed support of former presidential candidate Bernie Sanders. Franks is 30 years old, black, has face tattoos and heavy eyelids. He often wears a hoodie, drops St. Louis slang and allegedly was shot once. Franks is also a rapper, who goes by Ooops.