Tensions boiled over following the acquittal of officer Jason Stockley in the trial involving his shooting of a black motorist, following a 2011 police chase in St. Louis. The atmosphere in the city became tense as crowds began to form around the courthouse, with police in riot gear well prepared to combat against the protests that were expected to come after the controversial verdict. As has been the case with modern protests, the demonstration started out with a peaceful march but would turn violent as the evening progressed, with a select number of agitators and enraged protesters exchanging in shouting matches and the tossing of objects at police.

Two incidents that have been grabbing headlines show members from both the police detail, and participants in the protest taking aggressive measures into their own hands. The recording of an elderly woman being trampled by riot police has raised concern, as has footage of a group of youth jumping on the hood of a police cruiser before shattering its windshield.

By Saturday, September 16, over 30 arrests were made and 9 officers were treated for injuries, according to reports. Authorities expect that they will be contending with demonstrations at least through the weekend.