Businesses and schools shut down early and some events scheduled for the weekend were canceled after protesters took to the streets of St. Louis in response to the acquittal of former police officer Jason Stockley.
Streets were blocked off in parts of St. Louis and businesses started sending workers home early and closing Friday morning as the number of protesters grew on downtown streets.
Events that were expected to attract large crowds during the weekend in St. Louis included a U2 concert at the America’s Center and the Balloon Race in Forest Park. Those events were still on schedule as of Friday afternoon.
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But the St. Louis Walk to End Alzheimer’s was postponed; it was to happen on Saturday.
The St. Louis Symphony Orchestr’a performance of Harry Potter and the Chamber of Secrets, which was scheduled for Friday night, was cancelled
The Eighth Annual Cardinals Care 6K run/walk was canceled. It was to have been Saturday. The organization announced on its website Friday that there would be insufficient police to keep the route open during the race because of the mandatory 12-hour shifts police were working in response to the protests.
Some schools closed early on Friday and canceled weekend activities.
Wells Fargo Advisors announced by email to its employees Friday morning that they were encouraged to take their laptops and work from home.
A receptionist at U.S. Bank Plaza said the building was going “into lockdown mode” at noon and had started to send employees home about 11 a.m.
Nestlé Purina Pet Care in St. Louis closed early and sent its roughly 2,000 employees home.
Several other businesses closed early and sent workers home.
The Federal Courthouse, where the not-guilty ruling in Stockley’s murder case was read, had been closed all day in anticipation of the verdict.
Those who travel into Missouri may encounter protestors during weekend. While it is illegal to march in streets that are open to traffic, it may still occur and drivers should be wary in protest areas.