A recent poll shows that slightly fewer than half of Americans think that the unrest in St. Louis is criminals taking advantage of a situation, while somewhat fewer believe it is legitimate outrage over the Jason Stockley verdict.
Rasmussen Reports on Monday and Tuesday conducted a survey via telephone and an online survey. It showed that only 32 percent of respondents believe that legitimate outrage caused the vandalism and violence in St. Louis last weekend, while 47 percent believe it is criminals taking advantage of the protests. However, 21 percent of respondents were not sure.
The questions were phrased:
“Generally speaking, are most deaths that involve the police the fault of the police officer or the suspect?” and “St. Louis has experienced several nights of violence following the acquittal of a white former city police officer charged with murdering a black drug suspect. Is the mob violence in St. Louis primarily legitimate outrage over what happened, or mostly criminals taking advantage of the situation?”
More than 120 people have been arrested after protests in the city since Stockley, a white former police officer, was acquitted on charges of murder in the December 2011 shooting death of Anthony Lamar Smith. The American Civil Liberties Union of Missouri plans to sue over the policing of protests, alleging constitutional violations by the police.
On Wednesday, protests continued in Clayton and Brentwood, blocking traffic outside the Saint Louis Galleria. Among the participants was Missouri state Rep. Bruce Franks, who said the protests have been effective because they are visible and disruptive. At 7 p.m., organizers announced the protest was over, and the crowd dispersed with no violence or property destruction and no arrests, according to KSDK.
On Thursday, protesters gathered in Forest Park, according to KMOV. More protests surrounded Busch Stadium before the Billy Joel concert, but left once the concert began, according to news reports.