Police say some protesters ignored commands
St. Louis County police say they broke up a demonstration near an upscale mall because protesters weren't listening to instructions and tried to evade two lines of officers blocking the on-ramp to a highway.
Department spokesman Sgt. Shawn McGuire says protesters walked by a line of uniformed officers blocking the entrance to Highway 40, then attempted to get past another line of officers in riot gear nearer the roadway. That caused the department to call for backup.
The protesters broke into groups, with some milling around near the highway entrance, some in the mall parking lot and others on a nearby street. McGuire says officers were concerned that with the protesters so spread out, police could have trouble blocking traffic and otherwise ensuring the safety of demonstrators and others.
Police asked the protesters to get out of the streets. In response, many of the protesters went to the mall parking lot. Then, mall management said they didn't want the demonstrators on their property. McGuire says because it's private property, the police were obligated to remove the protesters and they were given an order to disperse.
McGuire says there were no reports of violence or vandalism or arrests.