What began as a peaceful march in the city of St. Louis has turned into an occupation of a local police headquarterst by protesters and other demonstrators.
The “March to the Arch” began around 10:30 a.m. Wednesday morning with about 75 participants. The march ended at the St. Louis Metropolitan Police Department headquarters, where according to FOX News St. Louis, 15 protesters entered the lobby of the police headquarters and read a list of demands.
Some of the demands listed were a meeting with Police Chief Sam Dotson as well as a meeting with the St. Louis Mayor Francis Slay or the Board of Aldermen President, Lewis Reed. Apart from these meetings, the protesters also demanded the termination of a few police officers who they believe to have been involved in the use of police brutality.
The protesters also posted an eviction notice to the doors of the police headquarters which reads, according to the Free Thought Project, “We are informing you that the police department is scheduled to be reclaimed by its citizens today, December 31, 2014.” A list of reasons is then given for the eviction notice, including, “Perpetrating police brutality on our citizenry,” as well as, “Transforming the police into a militarized occupying force.”
The notice was then signed at the bottom with “We the People.”
While the 15 protesters entered the building, around 100 other protesters stayed outside. It was shortly after the demands were read inside the building that, according to RT, the officers began to issue arrests and pepper-spraying protesters.
Five people were arrested during the demonstration and are being charged with Trespassing as well as Peace Disturbance. One of those arrested is being charged with Third Degree Assault for the assault of a City Marshall inside the police headquarters.
The St. Louis Dispatch also report, “When more protesters tried to rush into the front doors, officers linked arms and grabbed some by the shoulders and pushed them to the ground.”